You can’t beat the wine tasting in Utiel Spain, it’s the perfect way to pass the time, a great way to fill a morning or afternoon with visiting family or friends. It’s serious wine making country out towards the west of Valencia city as the production and selling of wine is a huge industry, worth millions of Euros every year.
One of the most well known wine producers in Valencia is the Hoya de Cadenas Estate in Utiel near Requena, owned by the Vincente Gandia family. The century old estate is now being successfully run by the fourth generation of the Gandia family, founded by their ancestors in 1885. We highly recommended their 90 minute wine tasting tour – there’s so much to see, you even get to ride on the wine train to cross their vineyards!
The impressive estate stretches over 200 hectares and boasts the best vine (yes vine not wine 🙂 ) varieties from the local variations of grape to the more exotic. Its elevated location means that the micro-climate varies in temperature during the day and night – these differences in temperature are what give the grapes their characteristics and encourage the creation of the precious polyphenols.
Polyphenols are tiny nutrients that are loaded with anti-oxidants that can be found in certain foods like red berries, dark chocolate, green tea and of course, red wine. They are highly valued because they have the potential to improve your body’s health and protect from disease. Just remember the old phrase,’everything in moderation’ and you should be fine!
Not only are the Vicente Gandia wines the biggest winery in Valencia, but they are also considered to be the best value according to a rating by the Penin Guide, an international wine guide.
The tour in Utiel starts with their very friendly staff who take you around the bodega, explaining in detail how the traditional wine making processes have been combined with the latest technology to forever change the old age tradition of wine making.
Underground are the dark, fermentation cellars where the wines age and mature, it’s an impressive room with a beautiful aroma from the 15,000 French oak barrels that take up a whopping 4,000m². Every cask owns the beautiful Vicente Gandia logo, their stamp of quality.
Once you’ve seen the premises, you get to ride on the wine train that takes you across the vineyards to the original Gandia family country finca that is absolutely stunning. With its pristine white washed rustic walls and quarry tiles, the finca takes you back in time and you can imagine how it once served the original vineyards. The history surrounding the Valencian wines is rich as the wine itself, as there’s more than 125 years worth of history, it’s pretty interesting.
In complete contrast to the old family finca there is a modern exhibition room, the Art Barrel Museum that houses the collection of casks that have been painted by the most famous artists in the Community of Valencia (which have only been on public view until recently). Vicente Gandia are the only major wine producer who connect their wine with culture which is a new concept for the wine industry.
From here there is the moment that everybody has been waiting for: a chance to taste three of the wines. Here you can relax and make up your minds which wines you prefer, as the tour finishes at the Wine Shop where you can purchase the Vicente Gandia wines. Reserve your tour at the Hoya de Cadenas Estate and immerse yourself in a world of sensations: history, art and nature…not forgetting their exceptional wines!