Wine lovers have a fine time when staying at Club La Costa World, the Costa del Sol has an abundance of restaurants and bars where you can taste delicious Spanish reds, whites and rosés… there are places for tastings too including the museum featured here.
Malaga is firmly on the map for its cultural, artistic and archaeological heritage which is visible everywhere in the city’s monuments and museums. And you can also visit the city and literally taste an important part of the province’s history.
Step through the doors of the Malaga Wine Museum, housed in the reformed 18th century Palacio de las Biedmas in the historic heart of the city, and enter the complex world of wine making in the province – an “art form” that goes back centuries.
The museum opened in 2010 and stretches over 800 square metres and reveals the history, culture and art of wine making to wine lovers and novices alike – and you get the chance to taste the fruits of wine making in Malaga at the end of your visit.
The museum is the actual headquarters for the Board of Designation of Origin for the province’s red, white and rosé wines and the Pasas de Malaga sweet wines – a delicious pudding wine. Sipping a chilled glass of this back home on a winter’s evening sets the taste buds tingling with holiday memories.
Malaga wine has been famous throughout Europe over the centuries – the sweet wine was a firm favourite of Russia’s Empress Catherine II in the 18th century and centuries earlier, in 1224, the King of France, Philippe Auguste, organised a Battle of the Wines. It was probably the first-ever wine tasting competition – and Malaga wine was designated the Cardinal of Wines.
It’s believed that the Greeks settled in Malaga and taught the locals how to cultivate vines around 600BC. During the Moorish conquest the laws of the Koran, which prohibited drinking, came into conflict with the local wine growing and drinking tradition but the Moors moved from punishment to taxation when they realised the economic value to the public purse.
When the Catholic monarchs re-conquered Malaga in 1487 they established a Winemakers’ Guild, recognising that not only did the wine create local wealth and happiness, it also contributed to the Royal Treasury.
Historians believe that the variety of vine producing the famous sweet grape took its name from Pero Ximén, who was probably a Christian farmer at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century and his name today appears as Pero or Pedro Ximén so that’s what to look out for in the shops.
On show in the museum are more than 400 beautifully drawn old labels for bottles and barrels, posters, and ancient agricultural tools – all leading to the wine tasting room where you get to sample the product! Entry is 5 euros, and that includes two wine samples at the end of the tour – and if you fancy trying more it costs 1 euro per additional sample. You can pick up your favourite from the gift shop.
The museum, easy to find, is in the Plaza de los Viñeros and is open from Monday to Friday from 12 noon to 2.30pm and 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
Visit www.vinomalaga.com for more information.