Cortijo Los Aguilares

High altitude, hand-harvested reds from Cortijo Los Aguilares in southern Spain are made on an 800 hectare holm oak estate.

Situated in Andalucia, southern Spain, about three miles from the famous 'white town' of Ronda, Cortijo Los Aguilares dominates an area called ‘Sierra de las Nieves’ or land of the clouds, at 900m above sea level. The altitude is hugely important, mitigating the heat you get at this latitude in Spain, and providing a large diurnal (day-night) difference in temperature. This in turn ensures a slower ripening period for the grapes that gain character and intensity. Proximity to the Mediterranean is also helpful for providing cooling sea breezes, and the whole DO Serrania de Ronda region gets very good rainfall from the west which brings an Atlantic influence. These positive factors allow the cultivation of some outstanding quality grapes and corresponding wines. Founded in the late eighties by retired Basque industrialist José Antonio Itarte, the wines have been made since 2006 by Bibi Garcia. There is a great diversity of varieties – Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo and Garnacha among others. Planted in 1999 and 2014 and spread over four vineyards, grown to organic standards and hand-harvested, these varieties have adapted perfectly to the terroir of the area, giving a very unique expression in each case. Cortijo Los Aguilares is a member of the Grandes Pagos de España, an association committed to protecting the uniqueness of the soil, culture and environment of the location. Sensitivity to the surroundings and nature are paramount, with ancient holm oaks the basis of the region’s ecology.

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