The Costa del Sol’s warm and sunny climate isn’t just great for holidays – it also provides the perfect conditions for producing wine, with vineyards to be found throughout the region.
It’s no surprise that many wine enthusiasts combine the two, and wine-tasting holidays are often referred to as vinitourism or enotourism, whether you travel to the Costa del Sol just to taste wines, or for the full vineyard tour experience complete with food and overnight stays.
Here are five of the region’s best wines, along with details of where to find their vineyards and the activities on offer there.
1. Malaga Virgen, Bodegas Malaga Virgen
Malaga Virgen is a sweet red harvested on the Bodegas Malaga Virgen vineyard, and the flagship wine in a line-up of over 20 varieties, not to mention brandy and whisky too.
It’s a 100% Pedro Ximenez recipe, using grapes dried naturally by the Costa del Sol sun and blending young wines with older ‘oloroso’ ingredients.
Find it on the iconic Bodegas Malaga Virgen vineyard, a 12,000 square metre expanse at the heart of the Costa del Sol, where Pedro Ximenez grapes are grown alongside Muscat, Syrah and Chardonnay.
2. Vega del Geva Crianza, Bodegas Perez Hidalgo
In 2010, Bodegas Perez Hidalgo’s Vega del Geva Roble took a silver award at the University Baja California’s international wines competition.
While ‘Roble’ indicates a relatively short period of barrel ageing, the ‘Crianza’ edition is given longer in oak, giving a fuller flavour that is ready to be drunk immediately, and has found its own fame among reviewers too.
The vineyard’s owners are passionate about sharing their knowledge of wine – making the Bodegas Perez Hidalgo a great destination for enotourism.
From tasting events and vineyard tours, to organised visits with a guide to the entire winemaking process, this is one Andalusian location where the wine really is the star of the show.
3. Chinchilla, Bodegas Dona Felisa
The charmingly named Chinchilla wines at Bodegas Dona Felisa have led to some locals simply calling it Bodegas Chinchilla – and with the Roman city of Acinipo a short distance away, it’s a perfect spot for vinitourism.
Groups of four and above can tap into the vineyard’s own contribution to Costa del Sol wine tourism, with guided tours and a look at the winemaking process, followed by lunch or dinner surrounded by the spectacular local landscape.
4. DV, Finca Descalzos Viejos
Descalzos Viejos in Ronda was formerly a convent, and the building is as impressive as you might imagine – as are the wines, with the flagship DV and DV+ at the heart of the line-up.
Tours are available on a pre-booked basis for small groups, and the winery offers a personal touch, with guides who speak both Spanish and English.
You may be able to take a tour as an individual, too – but it’s worth calling ahead to make sure, as in recent years the owners have asked for only group bookings as these offer more structure for the tours.
5. Vetas, Bodega Vetas
For an even more personal touch, visit Bodega Vetas, one of the smallest vineyards on the Costa del Sol, and sample their 100% Petit Verdot wine, produced only when the harvest is perfect, or blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to create the ‘Seleccion’ alternative version.
Despite its small size, the vineyard has one of the best wine tourism offers, with bookings for individuals and small groups, and discounts for five or more people.
Larger groups can book a visit with a three-course lunch or dinner, while smaller tastings can pair the wines with cheese and sausages, and ‘simple’ visits to the vineyard are free if you buy more than €150 of wine.