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11/06/2006

The Emerging Wines of Valencia:

by Gerry Dawes copyright2006

(First appeared in Spain Gourmetour magazine [consumer edition, 400,000 copies of which were circulated as an insert in The New York Times in Fall, 2006)

The exotic, once Moorish-dominated Comunitat Valenciana–which encompasses the provinces of Valencia, Alicante and Castellón de la Plana–and its capital, the ancient, but suddenly ultra-modern and rapidly growing Mediterranean port city, Valencia, has long been known for its wild end-of-winter Fiesta called Las Fallas and sunny beaches that have become nirvana for northern Europeans who flock to Valencia like Americans do to Florida. Gastro-nomically, Valencia is known world-wide for paella–in reality a wide variety of rice dishes made with local bomba or senia arroces–and nationally for its, Mediterranean seafood, Valencia oranges and clementines from Castellón, almonds and almond turrón candy from Jijona and dates from the largest date palm forest in Europe in Elche (both in Alicante province). Until recently, except for the large quantities of bulk wines shipped most to northern Europe, the only vinos la Comunitat Valenciana was known for were a strange, but exotic and wonderful vino rancio from Alicante called Fondillón and sweet dessert mistelas made from luscious moscatel grapes from the vineyards of Valencia and Alicante. (see more)
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