For nearly 40 years, Felipe Gutiérrez de la Vega and his wife Pilar have championed traditional winegrowing in the sun-soaked region of coastal Alicante. Inspired by the historical wine styles of their area and the artists and writers who enliven their cuvée labels and names, the family produces a diverse range of vinos mediterraneos from dry to sweet....
Which brings us to their work with Fondillón, Alicante’s most traditional wine that was once shipped and traded alongside Porto, Jerez, and Madeira, and which the Gutiérrez de la Vega family are responsible for reviving "production" in their region. According to Felipe, the traditional Fondillón is not a dry rancio wine in the style of an Oloroso, but a noble sweet red wine with slightly rough edges and an almost dense yet fresh texture. He works off documents that date back to the 19th century and follows these artisanal methods: Late-harvested Monastrell grapes which are left to dry in the vine until they become raisins, are foot-trodden 100% whole cluster and fermented slowly in open-top barrels with fermentation stopping naturally, leaving a high content of residual sugar and a natural alcohol level of around 16%; Aging is in solera casks for a minimum of 10 years with topping-off of newer vintages when needed. With about 750kg of grapes needed to produce 260 liters of finished wine, it’s amazing that this time and labor-intensive tradition is still practiced.
You can learn more about the Gutiérrez de la Vega family and their old-school "Vinos Alicantinos" in our website.