ALCALA DE HENARES WINE FESTIVAL
Alcala de Henares is a beautiful historic town just outside of Madrid, which is well worth a visit any day, but especially when they have their annual wine festival in October. Run over the Saturday and Sunday in the main plaza in the old section of town. This year they had 12 Bodegas from the Madrid Region with more than 40 different wines to try. For a 6€ entry you get a wine glass and cute bag to carry it in plus 5 tickets you can swap for a glass of wine. Further tickets can be bought for 3€ for five. Given the quantity of wine available they sensibly keep each drink to a taster size of 60ml to allow you to try as many as possible.
The only down side is they have no food stalls or toilet facilities. However there are plenty of cafes and bars nearby to have something to eat.
Madrid is known mainly for its Red Wines made from the Tempranillo grape. They produce some lovely fruity fun reds and if you’re ever passing through I would highly recommend the Tempranillo Tinto Joven or Crianza wines. The first being young fun wines full of red berries and the second having a more intense flavour of red berries plus plums and dried fruit.
Along with the Tempranillo stalwarts there were Red wines using alternative grapes such as Syrah and Graciano. Most bodegas also produce White Wines made primarily from Malvar grapes and Rose Wines from Tempranillo or Garnacha. The wines are predominately dry but many had a semi dulce wine in there range.
All wines retailed for about 3€ to 4€. Madrid has three main wine producing areas: southeast of the city around Chinchon; southwest of the city around Martin de valdeiglesas; north of the city at the start of the Sierra Norte mountain range. All the wine regions were represented at this festival.