Pedro Ximenez, the indisputable queen of Montilla Moriles
With this variety, winemakers obtain unique wines, truely gems in the wine world.
Pedro Ximenez is an amazingly versatile grape
Pedro Ximenez grape truly portrays the excellence of Montilla Moriles, a region in the south of Cordoba, Spain. Spanish winemakers grow this variety in Jerez, Malaga, Valencia and other regions. It is a grape that thrives in a hot and dry climate as it is susceptible to diseases, like Botrytis and Mildew.
The white chalky albariza soil of Montilla Moriles is rich in calcium carbonate and an ideal location for Px can develop its unique characteristics.
The berry is the medium size; they have a yellow-green colour and a thick, soft skin with a very juicy pulp.
Pedro Ximenez is a grape variety with low acidity. It achieves a pleasant fruitiness and sugar concentration due to the hot climate in which it is grown.
The high concentration of sugar transforms into a potent alcoholic beverage which can reach 15-16 percent. It is ideal for the “under a veil of flor” ageing process (where a layer of yeast protects wine from oxygen, a natural winemaking process of fortified Jerez-Sherry wines). The system used to age these wines is called criadera and solera.
The characteristics of this variety are also ideal for pacification (processing by sun-drying) which is the first step of the production of the most known sweet wines.
So how many wines can be made with the Pedro Ximenez grape variety in Montilla Moriles?
Biological ageing under “velo de flor”
Criadera and solera system
Montilla Moriles vs Jerez
If you are wondering if winemakers from Montilla Moriles and Jerez are making the same types of wine you are only half-right. The main difference between the two wines is grape variety.
Jerez wines are produced with Palomino grapes while in Montilla, in the same way as the Pedro Ximenez grapes. The latter is a variety, that due to climate and soil, achieves a higher percentage of sugar than palomino.
This feature stimulates the natural production of alcohol which is essential for the elaboration of fortified wines. In Jerez, to achieve the same alcoholic level, some vinous alcohol must be added to wines.
Pedro Ximenez old vine
History and legend
According to legend, the grape takes its name from a German soldier. The story goes, that he brought a strain with him on his travels to Andalusia which they then made German wines solely in the Rhine Valley, in the sixteenth
The variety perfectly acclimatized to the soil and climate of Córdoba, and since then, the grape took the name of Pedro Ximenez.
The DNA analysis of Pedro Ximénez has confirmed that it derived from Gibi, an Arabic table grape variety.
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