And I’m sure that Benitachell’s Ladies Who Charity, won’t mind my using them as an example!
Yes, I was delighted to be asked to take some of the members of this group on a bodega visit recently. The ladies work tirelessly in the Benitachell area to support charities that need extra funds and extra personnel. It’s a bout time they had a day out!
I’ve visited Bodega y Viñedos Casa Sicilia before. The rustic finca dates back to 1707 when it was built by the Marqués de Romana, who established a roaring trade in olive oil and wine between Novelda and Sicily, hence the name of the finca, so it is believed.
Trade has developed over the centuries of course. Nowadays half of the land, that’s 40 hectares, is devoted to table grapes (they are major suppliers of Christmas/New Year celebration grapes – you can see white plastic bags at the right time of year covering the bunches to retard ripening until they can be harvested for Christmas); with another 40 hectares laid to wine vineyard.
For wines, they grow Moscatel and Malvasia for whites, but also, because of a family connection, the rather more exotic varieties, Albariño and Loureira; and for reds, Monastrell, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Graciano. So it’s a rather eclectic grape variety profile.
Our tour of the old finca impressed the ladies. Some of the original flooring is preserved as well as the walls on which now hang lots of agricultural implements that would have been used over the hundreds of years that the farm has been in existence. In fact the 80 hectares of land, with it its olive trees and vines is something of an oasis in the town that has been built up around it. It’s not just top quality marble that comes from Novelda.
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