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Granada is one of the best known provinces of Andalusia. Located in the south-east of the peninsula, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and in the middle of the Penibaetic System, it borders on Albacete, Murcia, Almería, Jaén, Málaga and Córdoba. It is divided into 172 municipalities, with Motril and Almuñécar as main population centres.
HISTORY OF WINE
In Andalusia there have been archaeological findings that point to the cultivation of the vine since Roman times. Despite the fact that the Arab occupation led to the prohibition of this drink, it is known that viticulture continued with dissimulation for commercial purposes. The Gate of Wine, entrance to the Medina of the Alhambra, can be considered a standard of tradition in the Kingdom, which was actively recovered after the Reconquest. The main areas were Loja, Baza and Alcalá la Real.
Queen Joanna of Castile granted a privilege to the inhabitants of Granada, for which only the winemakers from Granada could trade wine inside and in up to three leagues around the city. This approval was maintained for up to three centuries. At the end of the 19th century, the vineyards were invaded by the phylloxera, which led to a change in the selection of varieties.
WINES AND WINERIES
The province of Granada does not have its own Designation of Origin, but it does have a Geographical Indication (GI). Previously there were three recognized geographical areas: wine from Cumbres del Guadalfeo (Contraviesa - Alpujarra), wines from the Altiplano of Sierra Nevada (North) and wines from Laderas del Genil (Southwest). In 2005 the groups of winemakers decided to merge and in 2008 was born the brand of Vinos de Calidad de Granada.
There are new wineries established in the Vega de Granada itself, but the most outstanding initiatives in terms of quality wines are the vineyards located at high altitudes and exposed to the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. The most important wineries are Barranco Oscuro, Los García de Verdevique, Cuatro Vientos, Los Barrancos, Sara García and the new Cortijo del Médico project, Bodega Villagrán, Señorío de Nevada, Bodega los Morenos and Horacio Calvente. Also in the surroundings of Guadix there are wineries with the advice of Manuel Valenzuela (Barranco Oscuro) and Antonio López de la Casa (oenologist of H. Calvente), respectively, as well as in Huéscar, with the Valencian oenologist Toni Sarrión (Mustiguillo).
POINTS OF INTEREST
The highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula, Mulhacén, with a height of 3,482 metres, is located in Granada. The province also shares Sierra Nevada with Almeria and has the only ski resort in Andalusia. The charm of the small villages of the Alpujarra is combined with almost 70 kilometres of coastline and beaches. However, Granada's greatest attraction is the Hispano-Muslim art of its capital, culminating in the Alhambra and the Generalife. A palatine city unique in the world, formed by a group of palaces, gardens and fortresses of great beauty, where the Andalusian style reaches its highest artistic heights. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.