In her book "Brindisa: The True Food of Spain", company founder and author Monika Linton dedicates several pages to the time she spent cooking with Pilar Sapena and her husband Felipe, and their life together in Alicante. Following Monika’s most recent trip there, she came back with some remarkable artisan wines from the region.

The Gutiérrez de la Vega winery is nestled in a small mountain village in Alicante called Parcent, in La Marina Alta, a place steeped in artisan tradition and blessed with having one of the best microclimates in Spain. Here Felipe Gutierrez de la Vega and his wife Pilar Sapena make exceptional red, white and dessert wines, and he is recognised as being the first wine-maker in Spain to make dry, as well as sweet white wine from the famous local Moscatel grape.

La Marina Alta has the same average rainfall as Bordeaux, but more sunshine to dry off the grapes and vines. The combination of humid, breezy, sunny conditions, combined with the growing of local grape varietals on old vines in sandy, chalky soil, makes it possible to produce the range of Gutiérrez de la Vega wines, with their unique balance of natural sweetness and freshness.

The Bodega focuses its attention on the white Moscatel de Alejandria grape, which is synonymous with La Marina Alta, and the meaty, robust local Monastrell grape, though it also grows Giro (a varietal of Garnacha, or Grenache) and has a small plot of Shiraz. The wines rest in oak barrels before being bottled.

Brindisa now stocks three of their wines: Recondita Armonia, made from Monastrell grapes, a sweet berry-rich red that tastes like ripe Victoria plums; Casta Diva Cosecha Miel, made from Moscatel de Alejandría, fruity, with sweet notes of honey and fresh orange; and Vina Ulises, a medium bodied red full of mature fruit made from a mix of Garnacha and Monastrell. For more information about the winery visit the Bodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega website. 

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