Wine Tasting in La Mata
We found this activity offered by Tours Costa Blanca . As we are new to this region and obviously are viticulture nerds this was intriguing.
We met at the information booth for the Natural Park of La Mata. In fact, the vineyards are all within this protected natural area.
Our guide Kate began the tour with information of the area. Apparently this entire region was at one time all under vine. When the development boom happened about 70 years ago many of the families sold off their vineyards to developers.
There are two lagoons surrounding Torrevieja and one is pink. In 1482 the town attempted to build a canal to the sea, it took ten years to complete. The idea was for fishing, but the fish did not come in. So, they then realized that salt was a sustainable product they could export and to this day Torrevieja and these lagoons are mostly known for their salt production. (And of course the beach)
Our tour through the vineyards lasted just over one hour and was an easy walk. The vines are not trellised. The vineyards are also dry farmed, meaning no irrigation. The soil is mostly sand, so very little nutrients. The roots go deep enough to tap into the water from the Mediterranean sea. The area also has the cool night time air. This region has a very distinct micro-climate which is responsible for producing these very unique wines. The two main varietals that are grown are Moscatel and Monastrell, both white wines though ten years ago a red varietal was introduced to the area. We would be lucky enough to try the first vintage of this red wine on our tour.
We made it to our wine tasting location! Our Sommelier Pascual was waiting for us with perfectly chilled wines, cheese, meats and bread.
Our tasting began with two white wines. The first 100% Monastrel from a local winery. The second was a Moscatel from a winery near Alicante. Both very different. The first quite acidic, it would go well with a spicy ethnic type food, maybe Thai. The second wine, a muscat as we would call it was sweet, but not too sweet. It went very well with the Brie/fig plate they set out.
Then it was on to the reds. Our wine of choice.
OK, so I am into young reds. Maybe 24- 36 months in a barrel. Some bottle age, but at least 2-3 years old. So this is a whole new world. The first wine is a 2018 vintage that saw zero barrel age. Straight to bottle. It is, as you would expect very light, simple with little tannin. It was good. Not really a food wine, a wine to sip, maybe slightly chilled and treated as a white. The second wine had more body and depth, more flavor and a bit more tannin. We really appreciated the diversity of all four wines that offered a glimpse into the wines that are being produced in La Mata. Only around 800 bottles per vintage so these are not wines that you will easily find in grocery stores.
We really enjoyed our wine tour in La Mata. Tours Costa Blanca did a fantastic job organizing the event and our guide Kate and our Sommelier Pascual were informative and fun. For only $20 Euro per person this is an excellent day time excursion when visiting Torrevieja. They also offer a number of other tours, fishing excursions and food events. You can learn about the other activities by going to their website here.