La Melonera—a young winery with a rich and colourful history, which in no time has become a benchmark for those thinking outside the box and longing to discover vibrant and elegant wines with personality—is the heart of The Wine & Country Club.
The objective of La Melonera, both since its inception in 2003 and to this day, was to seek to revive a historical legacy and uphold a centuries-old winemaking tradition for the benefit of the Ronda region and that of the entire world.
La Melonera, which is synonymous with authenticity and heritage, came into being to recover native grape varieties that had nearly fallen into oblivion and were on the verge of extinction, such as Tintilla de Rota, Tome or Melonera. The relentless work carried out at the winery to recover and highlight the importance of Andalusian winemaking tradition has become the standard bearer for R&D&I in the world of wine.
Cultivating the winemaking tradition in Ronda is no easy task. Due to the area’s complex orography and its winding roads, the Sierras de Malaga DO makes it virtually impossible to harvest in any other way than by hand.
Vineyards here are reminiscent of Tarragona’s Priorat PDO, except that the soils in Ronda are particularly lime-rich, and their Ronda style is actually a bespoke style, strongly marked by the individual work of local producers.
Ronda’s wine boom has proven to be so much more than just a passing fad; it is a winemaking tradition in its own right. In recent years, production has increased and Ronda has taken centre stage in the Spanish wine arena.
The area is home to half of Malaga province’s wineries and it features a Wine Route certified by the Spanish Association of Wine Cities. Behind the growing appeal that Ronda holds for wine lovers, is the challenging and purposeful work of many farmers, producers, winemakers and businessmen devoting their lives to obtaining the best wines from their vineyards.
Although this young winery already has some fabulous names under its belt, Yo Solo has become a fantastic signature wine. About 500 bottles are released every vintage, making this red all the more exclusive.
This is an Andalusian wine through and through, which is made with 100% Andalusian grape varieties—half Blasco, half Melonera—and is grown and prepared with great care amidst centuries-old holm oaks.
Dedicated to the famous Malaga-born Bernando de Galvez, a hero of America’s independence and one of those responsible for bringing vineyards to California, Yo Solo is a timeless, proudly and deeply-rooted Andalusian wine.
Yo Solo’s wafting aromas of spices and red and black wild fruit must be tasted to believe. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with well-blended resolved tannins, and very sweet. It is a wine with a strong personality, reflecting the land and native varieties from which it is made.
Payoya Negra—a red named after the local breed of goat, with whose milk Payoya goat cheese is made in the Sierra de Cadiz and the Serrania de Ronda—is another of La Melonera’s wines that merit special attention.
An ageing period of 12 months is all this personal Andalusian piece of gorgeousness requires to achieve utter perfection. Just the right blend of Tintilla de Rota, Rome and Syrah grape varieties, and a perfect cherry red colour with a tint of violet, Payoya Negra has a complex and intense aroma of sweet spices with balsamic notes and a discreet toasted lingering aftertaste. This wine’s vibrant personality has earned it many awards.
La Encina del Ingles has become another big name under La Melonera’s belt and is perhaps the wine that best represents the essence of Ronda.
A beautiful deep red with a good nose of red and black wild fruit aromas, followed by notes of freshly mown grass, this elegant crianza wine—which is aged for 6 months in 60-hectrolitre French oak barriques—is La Melonera’s tribute to those Englishmen who, out of their love and respect for the Ronda landscapes, gave this beautiful Andalusian city a universal character.