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What is an Appellation of Origin?
Madrid has an Appellation of Origin of its own, which makes it the only capital in the World to have one bearing its name, since 1990. Despite general belief, the Appellation of Origin is not a mere administrative status, but the recognition of something pre-existing and the desire to protect it. What is sought through the A.O. is recognition and protection under a name that awards the product, in this case wine, with a distinction for its origin and tradition.
Back then, there were several municipalities with plenty of vineyards seeking, since the mid- 80´s, some sort of protection, a movement coming from those vine growers and wine-makers who could visualize a promising future for a product that was well worth it. Those towns and villages that are now so familiar to everybody and can be seen along the highway, like Arganda, Navalcarnero or San Martín de Valdeiglesias, then rose as true spearheads, along with other municipalites like Chinchón, Aranjuez, El Álamo and Cenicientos who followed their example. There was talk about an appellation of origin: Vinos de Madrid, divided into three sub-zones.
Up to now, only the south has been granted with the Vinos de Madrid Appellation, a distinction which other municipalities, throughout the whole Autonomic Region, have still not obtained.
And what is a Wine Standards Board?
The Wine Standards Board is nothing other than a body that is in charge of the fulfilment of the Regulation to which this Appellation is subjected. This is achieved by the quality control of the wine and its general promotion. Above all, in our time, it is the Board’s task to provide the consumer, who, after all, could be any one of us, with a guarantee of origin for the product he is consuming. While traceability, the possibility of monitoring adequately a product’s life, has recently become an issue, the wine-making industry had already been applying it for a long time. The guarantee of care given to a product from the vine stock to the wine glass is this body’s main mission, whose name has already started to be a familiar quality guarantee among consumers.
Why three sub-zones?
Because the south of the autonomous region is very wide and its climate and soil change from east to west. A zone´s ´special varieties can even differ between them; a wine near the Sierra de Gredos mountain of the San Martín Subzone is not attributed with the same qualities as the ones that Guadarrama mountain gives to Navalcarnero´s wines, or the qualities Arganda´s wines have to offer because of their proximity to Guadalajara and Cuenca.
For that reason, dividing and distinguishing these wines, as is reflected in their wine tasting, was something fundamental. The long standing Madrid varieties have also contributed to this distinction. Varieties such as the Albillo in San Martín, the Tempranillo, Malvar, Airén and Garnacha, grapes that seem to have always been there. Nevertheless, foreign varieties have been also introduced, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, thus contributing to the expansion of the wines´ qualities.
Our wines, everybody’s wines, that are so near us, yet, sometimes, so far, do not differ from the rest of the Spanish wine-making scene. There are, of course, white wines, rosé, red ones, vintage wines and young wines that compete with confidence within and out of our borders. This year, for instance, a golden medal of the Biofach Exhibition in Germany was given to one of our organic wines, as well as various golden, silver and bronze medals at the recent Bacchus Awards in Madrid.
So, even though in the very beginning the mere mention of the existence of the Vinos de Madrid may have sounded “exotic” to some, we are now well-known, and there is a good reason for that. We are present in the German, English, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese and American markets.
There are currently 44 wineries, all located in the South of Madrid from east to west, which market the wine all the way to the consumer, offering him a very wide range of varieties and wine-making processes that will capture him or her immediately, dissolving any possible doubts about Madrid wines.
Nowadays, worrying about our well-being makes us suspicious towards everything that could have a direct impact on our diet. Wine is nothing other than a food which, consumed in moderation, not only has been proved to be beneficial for our health, but also dignifies our daily diet. Vinos de Madrid WSB is a member, together with many other Wine Standards Boards, of FIVIN, the Wine and Nutrition Research Foundation.