Toro Albalá is a unique domain. Its history dates back to 1844 when the Prieto family started making and preserving wines ('cosechero' and 'criadero'), mainly Fino wines. Over the centuries, the 'naves de crianza' of the bodega have aged barrels, which today are among the oldest to be found in the region, even in the whole of Andalusia. Thanks to his ancestors, Antonio Sánchez today has unique wines. He is possessed by it. Not only for its historic wines, but also for the history and culture of its region. He has an archaeological archive with more than 4000 pieces, found in the vineyard and collected over the years. Antonio is an oenologist, alchemist, inventor and passionate about all things Pedro Ximenez.
The domain with the 'naves de crianza' is located in Aguilar de la Frontera. However, he is going further and further and recently old bodegas were also acquired in Moriles and Lucena with a wealth of old Pedro Ximenez wines. Today the youngest generation takes the helm. Both the quality and the presentation are at a higher level.
Montilla-Moriles is best known for its sweet wines and we have them here in all types and years. The color of the wines (from white grapes) is brown, sometimes almost black: the perfect combination with chocolate desserts. We now have a collection of our own that is one of the most extensive in the world of these unique wines. However, we do not only find the best sweet wines here, but also aged amontillados, palo cortados and dry white wines based on Pedro Ximénez. Let us surprise you!
Only one grape variety: Pedro Ximenez (P.X.). A difficult grape variety mainly found in Montilla-Moriles. Only in Priorat and in the Sierras de Malaga are some old vines P.X. to find. The grape variety is not very popular because it has a thin skin, is almost transparent and therefore very sensitive to moisture and all the problems and diseases that accompany it. That is why it is almost non-existent in the region around Jerez de la Frontera; the humid sea breezes do this grape no good. In Jerez, therefore, you are allowed to buy Pedro Ximenez wines in Montilla-Moriles. Toro Albalá owns 145 hectares of Pedro Ximenez. The vineyards are organically farmed.
The soils are often 'albarizas', as in the area around Jerez. They are soils rich in calcium carbonate, with soils with little organic matter, little fertile and always of mineral composition - mainly lime and silicon. As a result, the substrate has a great ability to retain moisture (up to almost 30%).
The climate is semi-continental Mediterranean, with warm, long and dry summers and short winters. Annually between 2800 to 3000 hours of sunshine. The pluviometrics are very limited, which means that the grapes contain a very high content of sugars. The vineyards are located between 125 and 600 m altitude.
The grapes are harvested manually in perfect health. They are then transported in trays to the 'pasera': the place where the grapes are dried in the sun into 'pasas' or raisins. There they are spread out on round jute mats. This pasera lasts about 3 to 7 days, depending on the sun and temperatures. The grapes are turned daily to prevent the grapes from bursting under their weight. This could cause contamination, mold, but especially oxidation at this early stage of the vinification process. The grapes then contain so much sugar that fermentation hardly gets started. They are fermented to 1% and then mutated with wine alcohol to 17%. The Reserva wines are aged for 25 years in American oak barrels. The Don P.X. joven goes for 2 years in stainless steel tanks for bottling.
In addition, there is a whole treasure trove of separate vintages, of which there are often only one or two barrels left.