History of wine in Malaga
The history of wine in Malaga has a long history, probably one of the oldest in Spain. The province of Malaga "MALAKA" has been a wine producer since the arrival of the Phoenicians in the Iberian Peninsula, almost 3,000 years ago. But it was not until the year 1,100 a. C, when the cultivation techniques of the vine began to be cared for and developed. The great civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome placed the origin of wine in prehistory. The Egyptians mentioned the vintage, the vineyard and the winemaker's name on their jars. The Babylonians came to enact laws regulating the operation of wine shops. Grapevine seeds grown in the Caucasus, east of the Black Sea, have been found to be about seven thousand years old.
The ancient Greeks and later the Romans reserved an important place for wine in their lives. Vine cultivation is also known in Persia and India. As for pre-Columbian America, their cultures never discovered wine despite the presence of wild vines.
The Romans, whose expansion coincided with the decline of Greece, incorporated the Greek gods adapting them to their uses and characteristics. Thus, Dionysus became Bacchus. The god of wine, Bacchus, became the savior and his cult spread especially among women, slaves and the poor, to the point that the emperors tried to ban it without much success.
Also the Old Testament is full of references to vineyards and the country that the Bible calls Canaan, was famous for its wine.
Wine and Church.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, the Church took over from winemaking.
In all the monasteries and convents they began to cultivate the vine and regional wineries were created. These monks were the first to study the soil, to transform the vineyards by selecting the best plants, to experiment with pruning and to choose plots not exposed to frost. These were the ones that gave the ripest grapes. They surrounded their best vineyards with walls.
All their efforts tended to produce a wine intended not only for mass, but for sale, the monks playing an essential role in the wine trade during the Middle Ages.
The example of the Church was followed by the great feudal lords, who installed cellars in their castles and planted huge extensions of vineyards.
Recognition of Malaga wines in history
Malaga wine is one of the oldest in Spain. In Malaga, by the will of the Catholic Monarchs in 1487, the first organization of viticulturists called Hermandad de Viñeros was constituted.
The Discovery of America, starting in 1492, was a decisive moment for the expansion of wine, since the Catholic Monarchs, as they reconquered territories from the Muslims, replanted them with vines. And already, with the colonists' trips to America, the export of wines and the first vineyard plantations in 1497 intensified.
Production areas in Malaga, among others in Andalusia, were pioneers in the production and export of wines during the 17th and 18th centuries. Such is the case, that, as an example, it is known that, in 1791, the tsarina and empress of Russia, Catherine II, after the Spanish ambassador to Russia, Mr. Gálvez, brought her some boxes of Malaga Wine, exempted all Malaga wines controlled by the Brotherhood of Viñeros from taxes come to his empire.
Until then, the wine was drunk within the year of the harvest, when the new harvest approached, the price of "old" wine fell, but it was the art of being able to store the wine for years in barrels or bottles and its conservation, what that made that moment a crucial moment in the history of quality wines.
It was in France that the most destructive of the vine pests appeared for the first time, in 1860: phylloxera, an aphid the size of a pinhead that caused the death of the vine by feeding on the juice of its roots. It had arrived from North America on steamships that began to traverse the ocean fast enough that the parasite, present on imported vines, could survive the journey. All of Europe was affected.
it was a before and an after. The emergence of phylloxera in Spain occurred from 1878, in the municipality of Moclinejo, to the east of the province of Malaga.
Bodegas Quitapenas Foundation
It was in this year, 1878, that our founder, D. Francisco Suárez Pineda, Affected by this vine disease, he had to move to an area closer to the capital, due to the destruction that this plague had caused to his vineyards. There, in the neighborhood of El Palo, he opened a tavern or eating house, where he also offered the wine he made. There it was, where in 1880 founded Bodegas Quitapenas.
With the exception of some islands, such as the Canary Islands, phylloxera devastated, without exception, the vines of almost the entire Spanish geography. After 40 years of devastation, the solution was found by grafting vines with American roots.
This tour of Malaga wine takes us back to the 20th century, when the world of wine had to dedicate a good part of its effort to recover from the crisis experienced in the second half of the 19th century (Spanish Civil War, World War II ). As a result of these problems and in order to overcome the consequences of phylloxera and the economic crises, viticultural legislation was developed for the first time, trying to combat the fraud of ordinary wines labeled under big names, adulterated wines, etc. This gave rise to denominations of origin and regulations on varieties, territorial limits, pruning methods, all regulated, giving rise to a system of guarantee of authenticity.
Creation of DO Malaga Regulatory Council
Continuing with the history of wine in Malaga, in 1900, the regulations of the Guild Association of Wine Breeders and Exporters of Malaga were formalized, to ensure the general interests of the trade in these wines. It is in 1924 when the Trade Association requests the registration of the Malaga brand as property. But it was not until 1933, at the request of the Malaga vintners, that the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin Malaga, whose regulations were approved on October 20, 1937. The current regulation was approved on January 9, 2001. These regulations establish the production method and characteristics of all wines covered by the DO Málaga and Sierras de Málaga.
Already in recent decades, and more specifically, in recent years, research programs have been developed, improvements in fermentation, aging, production, and a long time of study... With this greater knowledge came greater control and little by little and over the years, the techniques have improved giving greater quality to this liquid jewel for our palates.
The consumption of wine has become a phenomenon throughout the world, creating the so-called “wine culture” to which no one should turn their back, and that we are delighted to make known through our wine tourism activities.