Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Alicante, city on Spain’s Mediterranean coast long associated with strong, rustic wines which now gives its name to a denominated but shrinking wine zone of 9,100 ha/21,800 acres. This do in the levante extends from the city towards yecla on the foothills of Spain’s central plateau (see map under spain) and allows eight different styles of wine including doble pasta, fortified wines, and a solera-aged wine called fondillón, a speciality of the region made from very sweet, deliberately overripened grapes. A coastal subzone, the Marina Alta, produces mostly white muscat-based wines. The climate becomes progressively hotter and the landscape more arid away from the coast and yields rarely exceed 20 hl/ha (1.1 ton/acre). The principal grape variety is the red monastrell (Mourvèdre). Other red varieties well suited to the mediterranean climate include garnacha and bobal. Ninety per cent of the region’s wine is produced in co-operatives. The Bocopa co-op at Petrer and such private firms as Gutiérrez de la Vega, Bernabé Navarro, Salvador Poveda, Enrique Mendoza, Sierra Salinas, El Sequé, Celler de la Muntanya, Volver, and Bruno Prats Ibérica have made noticeable strides in quality.