Madrid is the capital of Spain, is the neuralgic center of the country, where you can find a wide range of cultural activities. In the community of Madrid, which includes the capital and all the surrounding population centers, we can find an endless number of activities including wine tourism.
In the Community there are 12,000 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of wine grapes, 8,900 with the D.O. (denomination of origin) Vinos de Madrid, 78% of the wine-growing surface. The D.O. Vinos de Madrid was created in 1990 and is one of the 94 appellations of origin recognized in Spain. It is made up of four sub-zones: Arganda, Navalcarnero, San Martín de Valdeiglesias and El Molar -the latter since February 2019.
It already exports more than 5,000 hectoliters of wine, 30% of its production, to countries within the European Union, the United States and China, demonstrating a great capacity to compete in international markets, thanks to the work of the region’s wine sector.
Madrid wine region: Soil
The soil and climate of Madrid’s vineyards vary in each subzones, these subzones are near madrid capital city.
In the Arganda Sub-zone, sedimentary formations predominate, with high limestone (carbonates), as well as areas of gypsiferous loams with a basic pH. The strongest soils are found here, usually with a loam or clay loam texture.
The soils of the Navalcarnero Subzone are also sedimentary, linked to the action of the Guadarrama River to the action of the Guadarrama River, although their nature is quite different, as they are of siliceous origin. The sandy loam texture is the most common in this subzone, with acidic or near neutral pH.
San Martín de Valdeiglesias Subzone
The soils of the San Martín de Valdeiglesias Subzone are closely related to the geology of the Central System, which is eminently granitic, where gneisses and phyllonian rocks also appear.
The vineyard is located on slopes and foothills near the easternmost sector of the Sierra de Gredos, as well as on the alluvial plains of the Alberche River.
As in the Navalcarnero subzone, the pH is acidic or neutral, with a total absence of carbonates and a predominant sandy loam texture.
El Molar Subzone
The soils of the El Molar subzone are developed on very diverse geological materials: granites, quartzites, slates, schists, gneisses, sandstones, marls, limestones and arkoses, presenting a great complexity and heterogeneity in terms of soil types.
Madrid wine region: Clima
The climatic conditions in the area covered by the Denomination of Origin correspond to those typical of a continental Mediterranean climate. Within this characterization, each of the subzones has its own climatic behavior.
There are rainier areas, such as San Martín due to the influence of the Sierra, or drier areas such as Arganda. But in terms of temperature, all the subzones are very similar.
The main varieties are those that give uniqueness to each of the three subzones of Madrid wine region. The main white grape varieties are the native Malvar in Arganda, Navalcarnero and El Molar and the traditional Albillo Real in San Martín. As regards red grape varieties, the queens are Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) in Arganda and Garnacha Tinta in Navalcarnero, El Molar and San Martín de Valdeiglesias.
There are also other vine varieties authorized in the Denomination of Origin, some traditional and some foreign: Negral (Garnacha Tintorera), Graciano, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Airén, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Torrontés (Alarije), Macabeo, Parellada and Sauvignon Blanc.
The most common main variety in the Denomination of Origin is Garnacha tinta or Aragonés. It represents around 75% of the existing vineyard in the subzones of Navalcarnero, San Martín and El Molar. It is a productive variety, with compact clusters and medium size.
The second most important red grape variety is Tinto Fino or Tinto Madrid, the regional synonyms of Tempranillo. Most common in the Arganda subzone, it sustains average yields. Its cluster is cylindrical and generally with shoulders, somewhat larger than that of Garnacha Tinta.
The white grape variety par excellence in the Arganda and Navalcarnero subzones is Malvar. It has a large, loose, elongated cylindrical cluster, with large berries.
No less special is Albillo Real, the main white grape variety of the San Martín subzone. It is not very productive. It has small clusters, usually globular. The berries are medium-sized, spherical, and when they reach maturity they turn a characteristic golden yellow.
Many people don’t know the D.O. of Madrid, therefore neither its wines. This wine region has red wine, white, rosé, sparkling and sobremadre wines. We have to mention these last ones that are only in this wine region, later we will tell you more about them.
White wines of Madrid
Generally they have a pale straw yellow color, with greenish to grayish or steely tones in young wines, evolving to golden yellow or old gold in Crianza or Reserva whites. In whites fermented or aged in oak barrels, the straw yellow tones evolve to golden tones with aging.
White wines from the Madrid wine region are characterized by frank and mainly fruity aromas, either pome, stone, tropical or caramelized fruits. In wines with aging and/or fermented or aged in oak barrels, they are combined proportionally to their age, with spicy, balsamic, mineral and/or woody aromas.
In the mouth they are fresh, slightly acidic, sweet in the case of semi-sweet and sweet wines. Unctuous and with a bitter aftertaste. Light and with medium persistence.
Rosé wines of Madrid
They are pink in color, with strawberry, raspberry or salmon tones, and orange colors may appear in rosés older than 2 years or subjected to aging.
Aromas of red fruit and/or floral and/or vegetal character. In wines older than 2 years, they can be combined proportionally to their age with spicy aromas.
With fresh flavors, slightly acidic, sweet in the case of semi-sweet or sweet wines. Unctuous with light tannins and medium persistence.
Red wines of Madrid
The red colors stand out, ranging from violet to cherry tones in the young wines, and may present ruby to brick-red tones when aged.
Fruity and/or vegetal aromas prevail in young wines, and may contain wood aromas in wines made and aged in oak barrels. In the wines subjected to aging, aromas of dried fruits, spices, aromatic plants, empiermatic and/or mineral aromas can be found proportionally to the aging process.
In the mouth they are tannic, warm and persistent. Fruity in the case of young wines, with hints of oak barrel in the case of wines fermented and/or aged in oak barrels.
Sparkling wines of Madrid
The color changes from pale straw yellow to slightly golden, corresponding to its age. Fine, abundant and persistent bubbles. Strawberry pink or salmon coloration in the case of sparkling rosé wines. With fruity and microbiological aromas.
Fresh and sharp in taste, with a certain unctuousness in the case of rosé wines and sweet in the case of wines with a sugar content of more than 10 gr/l.
Sobremadre wines of Madrid
These wines are produced in Madrid wine region, and are an example of winemaking tradition that has endured due to the peculiarity and pleasantness of the product.
The term Sobremadre”over-mother wine” refers to red and white wines that, once fermentation is complete, remain with their “mothers” for less than 180 days, without racking, and contain endogenous carbon dioxide gas.
There is a lot to learn about each appellation of origin in Spain, and undoubtedly the best way to learn is by tasting wines. There are lots of wineries in Madrid region and all have delicious wine that you can explore.
Wine Culture in Madrid
Wine has been present in Spanish culture since its beginnings. In the town of Madrid you can find many wine bars, where they offer local wines from many nearby wineries.
In this city you can enjoy delicious food, such as tapas, as well as drink some of the best Spanish wines and visiting the historic city.
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