Most visitors to Spain enjoy a good glass of wine. Getting up close and personal in a small vineyard takes that experience to a new level. Bodegas Bentomiz is a short, but “interesting” drive inland from the coast between Malaga and Nerja. Make sure you have a driver that doesn’t mind tight hairpin bends on narrow mountainous roads, and keep a keen eye out for the last signpost off the road – it’s easy to miss! The rewards, needless to say, are worth it with amazing views and a fabulous wine tasting experience. Just remember to book in advance as we were surprised how busy it was.
On arrival we were greeted by our friendly guide who ticked our names off her surprisingly long list of guests. Then we were taken into the vineyard itself to be told about the grapes which are grown here. The biggest surprise was mention of the variety called romé. That was a new name for almost everybody on the tour. The romé grape is indigenous to the Axarquia region of Andalusia and is only cultivated in this area. It was quite an introduction and we couldn’t wait to find out what it tasted like!
Next we were shown where the magic happens and the grapes, both local and others brought in from not-too-distant vineyards, are turned into wine. It is a modern bodega which was established in 1995 by Clara and Andrés, a Dutch couple, who fell in love with the area. They have transformed a derelict vineyard into a thriving business in just a matter of years. They named it after the abandoned Bentomiz castle a few valleys away. Clara explains more about their history in this excellent video which also forms part of the tour.
Of course, the real reason most people visit a bodega is to taste the wine! We make no apologies in admitting that was why we were there. Upstairs in the main building is the tasting room with bottles beautifully displayed at the bar. There is a glass floor looking down into the production area so those with vertigo might want to sit away from there! We were introduced to each wine in expert style before we got to taste them. The sweet wines were, to be honest, a bit too sweet for our taste but the complex PiXel dry white wine was a huge success and we bought some to take home! The perfect blend of Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes suited us to a tee. They are also rightly proud of the awards they have won, with some of the trophies proudly on display.
Don’t take our word for it. Go there and try for yourself. Please let us know what you thought of your visit.