La Mata has started cutting the grapes to be used for winemaking. While the crop, situated in the Natural Park of the Lagoons of Torrevieja and La Mata, won’t provide large quantities of wine, experts agree that it will provide quality.
Inside the Natural Park, in temperatures of more than 30 degrees, even at eight thirty in the morning, with the ear-splitting noise of the chicharras and a just kilometer from the beach, one of the first harvests in the whole of Europe began last Friday, 16 August.
While the yielding of the grape doesn’t get underway in most of the vineyards in Spain until mid-September, the hot, arid, Mediterranean climate ensures that one of the earliest harvests takes place in the Vega Baja, La Mata area, where the cutting of the vine usually takes place in mid-August
One of the main characteristics of these vineyards, its sandy soil, is the one that ensures the La Mata vines are free of phylloxera, which devastated the vineyards across Europe and Spain at the end of the last century. The bug is unable to enter the roots because of the sand which is one further reason why the crop is so good.
Of the almost twenty wine growers that still harvest the grape today, 36 year old Hilarion, explained that La Mata had 200 hectares a few decades ago but now it has been reduced to 40. The vine was previously used for bulk wine but for this winemaker, his produce is now bottled which has allowed it to be revalued.
From this vintage the growers say that they expect to get three types of white wine: one aromatic and dry, another with what is known as a flower veil and a third called brisado wine
This whole project is linked to studies carried out by universities and different wineries, where the behavior of the wines is continually investigated. It is part of the protected Alicante certificate of origin.
Its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and the salt lakes of La Mata and Torrevieja, and the fact that the vines are planted on sand, hanging in there the strength of the sun and retaining humidity in the base, make these vineyards plantations extraordinary strength.
Undeniably these facts printed on the flavour, bouquet and taste of the wines of La Mata very peculiar characteristics: Mediterranean, salt, fresh touch, light, low acid touch and plain structure.
La Mata wine has been marketed in the United States by local winemaker Rafael Navarro for some years, specifically two varieties costing about $30 U.S. dollars a bottle, one called “La Viña de Simónand the other “El Carro” or “The Chariot”. However the wine can also be purchased locally from Snr. Simon’s Bodega, which is located beside the La Mata Town Hall, for just a couple of Euros, but do get your stocks in early as the demand for La Mata wine in the USA is such that all supplies will soon be exhausted.
Not bad going for a fresh, table wine, from the hamlet of La Mata!