Moscatel grapes for their flagship Molino Real wine comes from nine hectares of organically grown bush-trained vines on steep slate slopes at elevations between 350 and 1,000 meters, located around the village of Cómpeta, in the rugged Axarquía region in Málaga. The region, facing the Mediterranean sea, with terraced vineyards on steep slate cliffs, could draw comparisons to Priorat in the north, or Roussillon, Banyuls, and Maury in southern France. As is traditional, the grapes for the sweet wines are dried on cañas, reed mats, in the sun. Frames are set up so that temporary roofing can be used in case of rain. Dehydration by sun-exposure concentrates grapes in such a way that all the sugar and alcohol in the resulting wines come strictly from the grapes.
The sun-drying process, asoleo, is a tough manual job. After picking grapes on dangerous slopes with 40-60% incline, perfect and undamaged bunches are carefully placed in harvest boxes and arduously carried up the mountain to the winery, where they are laid on the pasera and progressively turned to obtain homogeneous dehydration. Once the bunches reach the desired degree of dehydration, they are pressed with old olive oil presses, bunches being separated by grass mats. The result is a rich, long-lived, sweet wine that honors the tradition and history of the historic “mountain wines” of Málaga and takes its place among the world’s greatest sweet wines.
Vintage – 2015 was a warm, early vintage in Málaga that produced incredible wines with great complexity and potential to develop in bottle. Harvest concluded on September 27. Rainfall in early September prolonged the asoleo, the time necessary to dehydrate the grapes under the sun. Considered by locals to be one of the great vintages in recent memory.
Vinification – The grapes undergo two selection processes: one in the vineyard during a manual harvest, and another one in the pasera as they dry. Once suitably dried, the grapes are pressed traditionally in an oil press with capachas (esparto mats). Most of the harvest is lost to dehydration, as 10 kilos of grapes are needed to produce 2.5 kilos of raisins, which yields just one liter of juice to ferment into wine. Fermentation is long and slow, with indigenous yeasts in 225-liter oak barrels, where the wine slowly matures at low temperature for 20 months.