Around the Valencia area, some interesting varieties that only prosper there such as Bobal are making a splash.
The history of Valencia, one of the oldest cities in Spain, began over 2100 years ago with its founding as a Roman colony under the name "Valentia Edetanorum" on the site of a former Iberian town in 138 BC. Valentia developed as a typical Roman city from its conception, as it lay in a strategic location near the sea crossed by the Via Augusta, the imperial road connecting the province to Rome. Valencia was one of the fully Romanized cities in the Roman Hispania, with nearly all the population made up of descendants of Roman colonists from the Italian peninsula.
The city surrendered without a fight to the invading Moors (Berbers and Arabs) by 714 AD, and the cathedral of Saint Vincent was turned into a mosque. At this time Valencia received the name Medina al-Turab (City of Sand). When Islamic culture settled in, Valencia, then called Balansiyya, prospered due to a booming trade in paper, silk, leather, ceramics, glass and silverwork. The architectural legacy of this period is abundant in Valencia and can still be appreciated today in the remnants of the old walls and significant buildings.
In 1238, King James I of Aragon incorporated the city and territory into the newly formed Kingdom of Valencia and permitted all people that lived in the city, Jews, Muslims and Christians, to stay there and live as citizens of the kingdom. According to historical data, the kingdom of Valencia at the time had a population of 120,000 Muslims, 65,000 Christians and 2,000 Jews.
The 15th century was known as the Valencian Golden Age. Valencian bankers lent funds to Queen Isabella I of Castile for Columbus's voyage in 1492, and the city became a commercial emporium that attracted merchants from all over Europe.
Following the discovery of the Americas however, the European economy became oriented towards the Atlantic to the detriment of Mediterranean trade. Despite the dynastic union of Aragon with Castile, the conquest and exploitation of America was the exclusive domain of Castile. The Valencians, like the Catalans, Aragonese and Majorcans, were prohibited participation in the cross-Atlantic commerce.
Faced with this loss of trade, Valencia suffered a severe economic crisis. The crisis deepened during the 17th century with the expulsion in 1609 of the Jews and the Moriscos, descendants of the Muslim population that converted to Christianity under threat of exile from Ferdinand and Isabella in 1502. From 1609 through 1614, the Spanish government systematically forced Moriscos to leave the kingdom for Muslim North Africa. In Valencia, where they were roughly a third of the total population, the expulsion caused the financial ruin of some of the nobility and the bankruptcy of the banking institutions in 1613.
Given its strategic site on the Mediterranean, Valencia has always been a target for strategic occupation. Occupied in turn by the British (1706) then the French (1812, when it was ruled by Napoleon’s brother Joseph), it was then shelled by a vessel of the Fascist Italian Navy in 1937 by the order of Benito Mussolini. Then came the Spanish Civil War, a period of hardship for all of Spain. During dictator Francesco Franco's regime, speaking or teaching Valencian was prohibited; in a significant reversal it is now compulsory for every schoolchild in Valencia. The dictatorship of Franco forbade political parties and began a harsh ideological and cultural repression. The financial markets were destabilised, causing a severe economic crisis that led to rationing.
Valencia was selected in 2003 to host the historic America's Cup yacht race, the first European city ever to do so. The America's Cup matches took place in 2007, where Alinghi finally defeated Team New Zealand to retain the America's Cup. The America’s Cup, together with cutting edge architecture and engineering by Santiago Calatrava has put Valencia on the map as a modern and dynamic European city.
Denominations of origin:
Vinos de Pago
VP El Terrerazo was established in 2010, as published in the Official Journal of the GV. The legal text describes every one of the plots and practices defining the singularity of El Terrerazo, recognizing it as a Vino de Pago. The estate is in the Valencia region, about 80 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea and 100 km from Teruel, one of the coldest cities in Spain.
DOP El Terrerazo has 87 hectares, around the winery in a single estate or Pago. At an average altitude of 820 meters, it benefits from a Continental climate influenced by Mediterranean: low rainfall and big night-day temperatures variation.
The key element defining El Terrerazo is Bobal, one of the most important local grape varieties in Spain. The Mustiguillo winery has done extensive work with clonal selection, canopy management practices (to obtain smaller and looser Bobal clusters) and recovery of autochthonous yeast to earn it and its wines the acclaimed VP status. All this using 100% organic viticulture.
Denominacion de Origen
Located in the western part of the Valencia Region, this is the largest of this area’s three DOs . It is named after its two neighbouring towns, Utiel and Requena.
Today it is establishing its own identity, promoting the Bobal grape, and at the same time, producers are learning to take maximum advantage of the excellent growing conditions, particularly well adapted to organic vineyards. In addition, the area has attracted increased investment in new, well-equipped bodegas and replanted varieties. As a result, red wines are now being made up to Gran Reserva level.
If you would like to see all the wines available, please visit our Wine Store.