Our Record Go en Alicante Airport office co-worker, Angel Borrego, brought this interesting article about enotourism in the Valencian Community, where he stresses on the great wine heritage from Alicante and the surrounding areas.
I have been curious for quite some time about great places in my surrounding area. The closest and simplest places, actually. Strangely enough, sometimes, we look for sensations or dream about visiting remote places.
Nowadays, people loves to experience the gastronomy and pay visits to gastro bars here and there–usually in the areas where they live. Sometime, we order the waiter a soft drink, a cold beer and maybe some wine. Usually the wine comes from an specific place such as Rioja, Rueda, Jumilla, Monastrell, etc.
Regarding the last variety mentioned, the Monastrell grape, I would love to tell you that it is grown in the Valencian Community, in the Alto Vinalopó, Villena area, La Romana, Monforte del Cid, Elda y Aspe. I visit this Alicante area quite often because it offers a huge beauty, an incredible culture and nice people.
Last March, along with my motorbike crew, I visited this area–sort of a getaway–planning on making a route. We ended up going to the Alicante wine route, where we found a series of wine cellars in the Villena area, such as Virtudes, Bocopa, Francisco Gomez, etc.
After a few miles, we decided to visit Villena. We stopped by there and, in the first place, we went to the Atalaya Castle, which offers some amazing views. After that, we went down to the village to eat some tapas at the Avenida de la Constitucion, which also offers a whole lot of interesting places.
Finally, we headed to the Francisco Gomez wine cellar, located at the La Serrata property. This wine cellar is rapidly growing and it is 3500 hectares and is home to 250 vineyards and 350 olive tree groves. This place has a great wine and olive tradition; its name comes from the ancient La Serrata wine cellar, which I truly recommend emphatically. The place is specialized in wines and olive oil, as I mentioned earlier.
This wine cellar, which is located in a secluded and quite location, dazzles the visitor by its awesome entrance, which connects to La Plaza de la Bodega: I am telling you, you will be mesmerized because you really do not expect to be in the middle of such an amazing work of art.
Also, we paid a guided visit to get to know even more of this charming wine cellar and went to the Chapel, which is really interesting since it was entirely built with stone. As far as the la Plaza de la Bodega, we noticed that is extremely well preserved. We were escorted to the vineyard and the actual place where the wine is harvested.
We were told that the harvest takes place during the night time since the heat makes the level of acidity of the grape raises. We also went to the Sala de Elaboración del Vino (The Wine Elaboration Hall) where the wine is collected raw. After a guided visit, we where escorted to the Cava de Barricas (Barrels Hall). It is quite interesting that these French oak barrels are placed in a way that the lowest one is the one where the wine rests the longest period of time. This way, the wine lees are removed to be added to the more recent crops.
As far as the Sala de Embotellado (bottling plant), it was not operating at the time but the high level of order and hygiene did not go unnoticed to us. At the bottling plant I lost count of the enormous amount of bottles stored. Right after that, we visited the Ermita del Fondillon (The Chapel of Fondillon)–it is just beautiful; we saw a very expensive bottle of wine from Fondillon and also the Sociedad de Nichos (The recesses society). At this place, we were told that, each member can store his/her own bottles–at a perfect temperature. The membership of this place gives you the right to place where you can enjoy yourselves and throw private parties with a maximum seating capacity of 90 people.
Last but not least, we were shown the Museo del Aceite (Oil’s Museum), where a little bit of our oil history is gathered there. To wrap up the visit, we tasted the four wines that form the Trivium Collection, the millenary olive oil and their own Iberian cold cuts .I really hope you enjoyed this.