After a first attempt in 1973, the Wines of Madrid Appellation of Origin began to take shape in 1982 but was not effective until the late 90´s. A great change in the structure of the wine-making industry of the province made the wine of Madrid take a leap from anonymity to a growing presence in the markets.
In 1972 the “Statute of the Vine, Wine and Alcohol” came into effect, a fundamental regulation for both wine production and Spanish appellations of origin. The Statute was the starting point for creating the map of the Spanish appellations of origin. Thanks to that Statute the process that later resulted in the 40 appellations of origin, still valid in 1992, came into being. In the 70s´ Madrid’s wine production saw an increase in sales, a fact that favoured an attempt to obtain the A.O, backed up by the Chamber of Agriculture and some cooperatives in 1973. It was turned down by the recently created National Institute of Designated Origins, and that vaguely outlined project was soon abandoned.
The situation started to improve after the celebration of the first Wine Week Madrid, in November 1981, promoted by the Provincial Council of Madrid. The issue of the A.O would be taken up again at the initial meetings of the II Wine Week of Madrid.
A ministerial order dated the 7th March 1983, provisionally recognizes the specific appellations of origin of Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martín de Valdeiglesias. The respective territories were delimited at an assembly held by Provincial Council of Madrid on 17th March.
According to this initial territorial distribution, the Specific Appellation of Arganda consisted of six municipalities (Arganda, Belmonte de Tajo, Colmenar de Oreja, Chinchón, Valdilecha y Villarejo de Salvanés), Navalcarnero´s of two (Navalcarnero y El Álamo) and that of San Martín de Valdeiglesias of four (Cadalso de los Vidrios, Cenicientos, San Martín de Valdeiglesias and Villa del Prado).
Everything remained pending until the founding of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, a circumstance that gave the project new orientation. In December 1983 the Autonomous Region’s Chamber of Agriculture came to an agreement with INDO in order to form the Provisional Wine Standards Board and establish a single appellation divided into three sub-zones, which was defined as the “Specific Appellation of Origin of Madrid”.
However, that was not to be its definite name either, as the 31st May 1984 Decree of the Autonomous Region’s Chamber of Agriculture had only provisionally recognized the “Specific Appellation of Madrid” together with its three sub- appellations, Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martín.
The Regulation of the Specific Appellation differs only slightly from a Regulation of an Appellation of Origin. Territories, production limits, yield per hectare, authorized grape varieties, wine characteristics, vineyard and winery registers etc. are established in the same way as in an effective Appellation of Origin. The objective was to pave the way, promote innovation in wine-making and support the marketing of the bottled product. In just four years, from ´86 to ´90, the wines´ characteristics had gone through the necessary changes and were ready to obtain the Appellation of Origin. The Regulation for the Wines of Madrid Appellation of Origin was finally approved by Order of the Autonomic Region’s Chamber of Agriculture on 17th August 1990 and ratified by the Ministry of Agriculture by the 19th November 1990 Order.
The regulation published in 1990 was subjected to further modifications in 1996 and 2003. It establishes conditions regarding the production of grape destined to be protected, and regulates vinification and grape characteristics, as well. In summary, the most important aspects are pruning, grape-per- hectare maximum production (80 quintals for the Malvar and Airén varieties and 50 for the rest) and grape juice/grape yield, that may not surpass a 70% (70 litres of grape juice per 100 kg of grape).