RONDA WINES - OVER 2000 YEARS OF HISTORY
Wine making of Ronda has a long history dating back some 2000 years, when Romans cultivated vines to produce wine around the prominent city of Acinipo, i.e. “the land of wine”, near today’s Ronda.
The name of this ancient Roman city etymologically is considered to come from the Latin word Acinus, meaning a cluster/bunch [of grapes]. Taking into account the amount of coins found around the the ruins of Acinipo with the name of the city on one side and the cluster of grapes on the other side, the place was then closely related to vines and vines growing.
Before it was wiped out by phylloxera in the 19th century (1878), wine making there had been widely known in Andalusia and beyond, which then was substituted by growing other products (mainly olives). Although winemaking was left behind in Ronda during over 100 years, many toponyms around Ronda have always included the word Viña which is Spanish for “vine".
Today’s wine making in Ronda area has been something of a comeback since the wine industry was literally killed by phylloxera. The new era started in 1982 when a hereditary winemaker from Germany, Friedrich (Federico) Schatz started planting various strains (varieties) on the hill slopes not far from the ruins of Acinipo. He was soon followed by the eccentric prince Alfonso Hohenlohe, the man who discovered Marbella, the posh coastal resort town of Andalusia.
The latter bought an estate, Cortijo las Monjas, and land around it (near village Arriate) and, what was important, invited Juan Manuel Vetas to revive Ronda wines on a larger scale. Juan Manuel Vetas was a Spanish-born oenologist who had grown up, both physically and professionally, in France and worked for some of the most recognised chateaus of Bordeaux. It was him to bring Petit Verdot to Ronda and to make the variety one of he symbols of this region...