A great addition to a day trip to Antequera is a Malaga wine tasting tour. Not only does it give you the chance to taste exceptional wine (and organic) but you get to see some simply stunning scenery that’s right off the beaten track.
Bodegas Gross Hermanos are one of the newest vineyards in Malaga province and they’ve just opened their Malaga wine tasting tour. The 2-hour visit includes a tour of the vines themselves, a look round the wine cellar plus a tasting of their signature organic wines.
Off the beaten track
We went on this Malaga wine tasting tour by car from Malaga. We chose the slightly more roundabout route via Villanueva de la Concepción to get to the vineyards and those extra kilometres (about 20) were more than worth it.
The scenery – always exceptional around Antequera – was simply breath-taking. At one point near La Joya and Los Nogales (2 tiny villages), we could see probably most of Malaga province. Mountain ranges such as Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Bermeja and los Montes de Malaga as well as far up the Guadalhorce Valley.
Vast olive groves. Lots of almond trees and plenty of holm oaks. But no vineyards. This mountainous country surely couldn’t be home a grape-growing industry? But at the turn-off on the Alora-Antequera road we were about to discover that vines do grow in this part of Andalusia.
Our guide, Javier Gross who is in charge of wine production, met us at the junction and we followed him along the track to our first stop. Bodega Gross Hermanos have 2 areas planted with vines, each some distance from each other.
The first plantation is the newest and the vines on the south-facing slope have just been in the ground since 2016. Thousands of young vines from several grape varieties line up in perfect rows, some pruned using the spur method and some with the cane. This is an experiment to see which vines do best.
The other vines are further into the valley in a location that is really off the beaten track. But as we wound our way deeper into the countryside nothing quite prepared us for the stunning spot for the wine cellar.
Facing due south, the cellar sits in full view of a mountain peak known as La Chimenea (the Chimney). Its name comes from the drifts of clouds that regularly get stuck on the summit as if the peak was smoking. Absolute peace and quiet. No sign of anyone and stunning mountain views and Mediterranean woodland as far as your eye can see.
The wine-producing grapes
Just a short walk from the cellar are the main vines. Again, neat rows and all looking stunning in their autumn reds and browns. This year’s harvest was good – later than ever but plenty of grapes thanks to the spring rains and summer heat.
Wine growers face serious challenges in this part of Antequera. The soil comes packed with rocks and it’s heavy in limestone (the karstic Torcal range is clearly visible on the horizon). The high altitude (780m above sea level) also means late frosts can be real problem.
And then there’s the wildlife. Wild goats, boar and deer regularly jump the fences to feast on new leaves and/or grapes. Blackbirds too love the grapes and would feast on the lot if it wasn’t for the CDs strung up along the vines to scare them off.
All the Bodegas Gross Hermanos vineyards are organic so no pesticides or herbicides. Rose bushes, very susceptible to disease, at the end of each row act as the warning of any pest or mould affecting the vines. The bodega uses milk serum as a natural pesticide.
The wine tasting
And so to the Malaga wine tasting itself. After a guided tour of the cellar and an excellent explanation of the wine-making process, we got down to the serious stuff. As a boutique vineyard and a young one, Bodega Gross Hermanos produce just 3 wines, but all extraordinary.
Careful thought has gone in the branding and bottling to reflect the organic, artisan nature of the wines. We tried 2 reds, both very different but delicious. Javier explained the bouquet, the colour and the taste – not as mineral as I thought they would be given the limestone in the soil.
We enjoyed some delicious tapas – cold cuts and olives – and chatted about wine, vines and the scenery. One of the most civilised Saturday lunchtimes I’ve spent in a while!
Malaga wine tasting tour practicalities
The tour takes around 2 hours and can be in Spanish or English depending on your preference. Javier’s level of English is excellent and you’re free to ask as many questions as you like. Maximum 6 to 8 people per group.
Bodega Gross Hermanos is off the beaten track but when you book your visit, Javier will arrange to meet you at the turn-off. From here, it’s an easy drive to the vineyards and the cellar.
By bus to Antequera
If you want to include this Malaga wine tasting tour on a day trip to Antequera, Javier will pick you up in the town, take you to the cellar and then take you back at the end of the tour. This means you can enjoy the morning or afternoon in Antequera as well as do the wine tasting. (And no worries about being over the limit because you’re not driving!) And there’s no extra charge for this.
For more information on how to get to Antequera from Malaga and what to do in the town, click here.
The vineyard tour and Malaga wine tasting costs €17 per person. This includes 2 wines and 4 tapas.
You can also taste the vineyard’s signature wine with the extra cost of €25.
How to book
You can book your tour via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +34 649 319 373 or +34 658 079 871
More information on the Bodegas Gross Hermanos website (currently in Spanish only).