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Malaga Wine

Malaga is the largest of the DO wine zones in sunbaked Andalucia, southern Spain. Its hub is the city of Malaga on the Mediterranean coast, with its famous beaches along the Costa del Sol.

Vines were introduced to the region by the Greeks around 600BC, meaning it has a long history of winemaking. Malaga was hugely productive and its heyday was in the 17th, 18th and early 19th Centuries, when it was Spain's second-largest wine region. Its wines, known as Mountain, were very popular in Great Britain and North America until two successive infestations of powdery mildew and phylloxera crippled production. The wine industry never really recovered, and it has been tourism that has injected much-needed life back into Malaga.

The flag of Malaga
© Wikimedia/Enri

The Malaga DO, Spain's first such designation, was established in 1933. Its Consejo Regulador (wine authority) also manages the Sierras de Malaga DO (introduced in 2001) and Pasas de Malaga DO (raisins of Malaga). Malaga and Sierras de Malaga are often referred to together.

Malaga's climate, in general, is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean Sea as well as by the hot and dry conditions that prevail inland. Pedro Ximenez is a popular variety here, grown mainly on the warmer sites, whereas Moscatel does well in cooler, hilly areas. That said, Malaga is divided into five sub-zones – Serrania de Ronda, Manilva, Norte, Montes de Malaga and Axarquia – each with its own distinctive climate and soils.

The name Malaga has been traditionally associated with sweet wines made from grapes dried on grass mats under the region's intense sun. Now the wines are produced by different methods, the most common of which involves stopping fermentation with grape spirit to retain natural sweetness. According to the local wine laws, the Malaga DO can be used for:

  • Fortified wines with alcohol levels of between 15 and 22%.
  • Unfortified wines with at least 13% alcohol, produced from overripe grapes or dried grapes, with no artificial alcohol added.

In addition, there are various styles that define the region's versatility. Sixteen are permitted, the most common of which are:

  • Pedro Ximenez: Wines made exclusively from this grape variety, also referred to as PX.
  • Moscatel: Made from the Muscat of Alexandria grape variety. These are the most aromatic of all Malaga wines.
  • Vinos de Lágrima: Made from the Pedro Ximenez grape variety. The name lágrima ('tears' in English) signifies that the juice used for this style is not pressed but is free run, obtained after drying the grapes briefly for one or two days.
  • Solera: A regional specialty borrowed from the Jerez region. More than a wine style, it is a maturation process where the wines are aged in oak barrels using fractional blending from different vintages, so that the end product is a consistent mix of wines from different years.
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We found 46 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Sweet Pedro Ximenez, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $11 6868
Jorge Ordonez & Co. No 2 Victoria Moscatel, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $47 7630
Larios 1866 Gran Reserva Brandy, Malaga, Spain Brandy $57 11559
Bodegas Scholtz Hermanos Solera 1885, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $372 17493
Jorge Ordonez & Co. No 3 Old Vines Moscatel, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $110 20207
Telmo Rodriguez Molino Real Mountain Wine, Malaga, Spain Muscat $67 23077
Jorge Ordonez & Co. No 1 Seleccion Especial, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $33 24947
Telmo Rodriguez 'MR Mountain Wine', Malaga, Spain Muscat $31 28082
Jorge Ordonez & Co. No 4 Esencia, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $184 32347
Larios Principe Reserva Especial Brandy, Malaga, Spain Brandy $15 38141
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Cartojal, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $13 39061
Bodegas Malaga Virgen 'Sol de Malaga', Malaga, Spain N/A $10 49069
Bodegas Bentomiz Ariyanas Naturalmente Dulce, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $31 52440
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Pedro Ximenez Don Juan Trasanejo, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $90 55330
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Pedro Ximenez Reserva de Familia, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $23 58135
Bodegas Gomara Lacrimae Christi, Malaga, Spain N/A $10 65343
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Tres Leones Moscatel de Alexandria, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $21 66922
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Moscatel Naranja, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $8 77994
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Moscatel Iberia, Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $10 79444
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Trajinero 10 Anos Anejo Oloroso Seco, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $10 91276
Bodegas Gomara Pedro Ximenez, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $6 93247
Bodega A Munoz Cabrera - Dimobe 'Zumbral', Malaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria $16 96370
Bodegas Gomara Dulce, Malaga, Spain N/A $6 99900
Bodegas Malaga Virgen Seco Trasanejo, Malaga, Spain Pedro Ximenez $85 103728
Hijos de Antonio Barcelo 'Gran Vino Sanson' Bacarles Dulce, Malaga, Spain N/A $10 103728
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