Doña Felisa, a winery in Ronda, is in the middle of their 2018 grape harvest. A delicate and important event for wineries! Wine has been produced in Ronda since the Roman times. The old Roman city, the Acinipo, was 2000 years ago surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye could see. A disease, attacking the roots of the vines, ended this period of glory and vines were slowly replaced by olives. However, at the end, the 20th century, local and foreign winemakers picked up the old tradition of winemaking in Ronda again. Resulting in over 15 successful producers with a winery in Ronda today!
The rebirth of the winery in Ronda
In the 80’s, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe planted his first 15 hectares of vines and with this act started Bodega Cortijo Las Monjas. The Prince is also known as the discoverer of the Costa del Sol and the founder of the Marbella Club. This resort attracted international, famous and aristocratic people such as Sean Connery, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn to Marbella. Like many, he fell in love with Andalusia’s inland natural beauty! And in particular with the sloping, tranquil hills of Ronda. It’s hard not to understand why! He bought a viticultural estate and planted a variety of high-quality caste of grapes. This includes the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo. He was followed by many others. To name o few: The Bodega of Frederique Schatz is one of the first wineries in Ronda to produce organic wines. Winery La Melonera had the courage to recover an old Roman variety of vines, ‘La Melonera’ and produces a top wine with this specific grape. Winery Descalzos Viejos has without any doubt the most spectacular Bodega, a restored church from the convent ‘Trinitario’. And of course Winery Doña Felisa, whose passion it is to create quality wine at his unique setting at 600m above sea level. We had the privilege to witness the grape harvest at this winery in Ronda and love to share these images with you in the video below.
Bodega Doña Felisa, Chinchilla wine
This special winery in Ronda, Bodega Doña Felisa, was founded in 1999 by José María Losantos and his wife Gema Alonso. They fell in love with Andalusia! They fell in love with Ronda! They saw the unbeatable conditions of life, the culture, the weather, and decided to do a 180º spin in their lives. They decided to actually live their dream! Gema and José María moved from Burgos to Ronda to purchase a country property in Ronda and to plant a vineyard. José María and Gema had only one objective in mind, the creation of wines of the highest quality. The family-run business now includes the second generation who shares the passion and the goal. This can only be achieved by keeping control in all stages of winemaking: the cultivation of the vines, the selection of the grapes and the exclusive maturing to their own design. The grapes are always handpicked, sometimes at night time so the grape to suffers less and the winemaker is able to extract more aromas.
Doña Felisa manages the varieties Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Moscatel, Tintilla, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The 2018 harvest is looking to be very good! The wet spring and warm summer resulted in a very good concentration and a healthy grape. At present, the Tempranillo is of great quality and they are collecting Cabernet, which looks like it will not disappoint either!
Visit the winery in Ronda
José María and Gema enjoy sharing their passion with others! They welcome visitors to their Bodega and offer a variety of wine tasting tours, always adapting to the needs of their clients. Sometimes this includes a walk through their impressive vineyard. They even offer the possibility to book a room and spend the night. They have 4 generous suites at your disposal. Imagine yourself as the owner of the vineyard for a moment, enjoying the surrounding nature, in the midst of the green fields and blue skies, overlooking the Grazalema mountains. Stunning! I personally am a big fan of their Chloe white wine and the Chloe Rosé. For the red wines, The Seis+Seis and Doble Doce are probably their most famous brands. The Encaste however, for me, is capturing the Ronda hills in a bottle! And I have to go back, to try the Roble, BF Maestro and Chinchilla Rosé!
There is no doubt that this family absolutely loves what they are doing. That is reflected in the final product, the Chinchilla wines. At Bodega Doña Felisa, you capture this essence the moment you enter the property. They have converted their dream and passion into reality.
If you are looking to live your dream, we have a fine selection of country properties in Ronda. Some of them are very suitable to plant a vineyard and we can bring you in touch with for example José María and Gema to collaborate with their winery. A unique chance to enjoy living on the Andalusian countryside, enjoying the peace, tranquillity and breathtaking scenery and creating a top wine as well.
Rebecca Marriott | 3rd October 2018