Riesling grape in Andalucia

Wed 5 Apr 2006

Owner of the prestigious New Zealand winery Gravitas, Martin Nicholls, has acquired 18 hectares in Andalucia to make wines with the German riesling grape - a variety not widely grown in Spain. Nicholls, whose wines have won nearly 60 medals in the past 2 years, has confessed that he spent 5 years searching the globe for the ideal soil on which to cultivate this vine. He finally found it in Southern Spain, in a plot 1.4km above sea level “with high snowfall and a temperature more akin to that of the Rhine Valley than you would ever imagine”, said Nicholls.

In his own words, the soil is slatey, more like the soil in the Mosel Valley. “In Spain”, continues Nicholls, “there are scarcely even a dozen riesling vineyards, and they are mostly found in Penedès. However, Spain offers cool, fresh nights but also long, warm days. This is the difference between Marlborough and the Loire with the sauvignon blanc”, he concludes.

Martin Nicholls first began wine making four years ago after purchasing 40 hectares of vineyards. Previously Nicholls had worked for work for 15 years as a business re-launch specialist in the banking industry. Nicholls first vintage from his Spainsh bodega is expected in 2009.

Source: Wines From Spain


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