Alvear is not technically a Sherry producer as their wines are from Montilla-Moriles in the Andalusian province of Cordoba. The main difference between the fortified wine of Montilla and Sherry (by definition from Jerez) is the use of the Pedro Ximenez (PX) grape rather than the Palomino grape used in Jerez. Montilla also goes through an initial fermentation in clay jars.
For wine lovers this should be incidental, as these wines are impressively deep and concentrated, and like all Montilla, great bargains in comparison to Sherry.
Don Diego de Alvear y Escalera began producing wine in Montilla in 1729. Eight generations later, the Alvear family are still stewards of the Pedro Ximenez grape at the now modernized facility. Alvear both sources grapes from their 307 acres of vineyards and contracts with local growers. The main grapes grown in this warm region (soils here are mainly chalk, limestone, and sand) are Pedro Ximenez (far and away the bulk of the crop), Moscatel, Airen, Baladi,Verdejo and Torrontes
The incredibly sweet Amontillado style, meaning “in the style of Montilla”, refers to wine made from grapes raisinized in the sun. Alvear is known for its nutty Amontillado Carlos VII, its similarly sweet PX de Anada (also made from sun dried grapes), and a drier but still fruity Fino Capataz. Montilla is also famous for its vinegar, and Alvear's, made from sun dried PX grapes aged in a solera for at least five years, is a notable example.
Spain has more acres under vine than any other country and ranks third in production behind Italy and France. Much of this output continues to be hot-country jug wine made to satisfy the everyday thirsts of the domestic and greater European markets
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