Wine&History: Acinipo and Bodega Schatz, Ronda

The history behind this wine is the story of Fiedrich Schatz on his arrival to Ronda. After a stay in France and Italy studying the wines of those areas, he was on his way to Morocco but a miraculous thing happened in Ronda. He knew that Finca Sanguijuela had been put on sale by a bank, which means that even the bank didn’t want to own that place. But he realized that the name of the farm and his own name have the same initials (FS), and this was understood as a good sign. Apart from that, Fiedrich had a very good knowledge about wines and vineyards because he came from a family winemaking tradition.

He was only 18 years old when he decided to be the first wine maker of Ronda after the phylloxera pest in 1878. He learned Castillian Spanish thanks to an intensive course in Marbella but he learned to speak with Andalusian accent thanks to the “practical lessons” with the workers in the farm. Since the beginning the idea was to produce organic-biodynamic wines and nowadays they are 6: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Acinipo, Finca Sanguijuela, Petit Verdot and Rosado. All of them are single varietal, except for Finca Sanguijuela, and all the grapes are raised and harvested in the vineyards of the finca.

I’ve been there recently and Gema from MilAmores was our guide. She explained to us everything about the history of Bodega Schatz, every single detail. She was very effusive and passionate in our walk around the vineyards and during the wine tasting. One of my favorite was Acinipo. Gema said this wine is so good that even people who don’t like wines can perfectly enjoy a glass of Acinipo.

When we tried this Lemberger of intense red color for me the smell was fresh and a little bit acid, but just a little bit, while the taste was fruity but toasted, with some chestnut flavor. Gema said: like the dark brown soil of Ronda and the chestnut trees of the close Genal River.

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The history behind the name of the wine is the history of the Roman period in Ronda in the ruins of Acinipo. They are 20 kilometers from Ronda and it still conserves part of the theatre and the baths. The ruins are known as Ronda la Vieja or Old Ronda, a place that lived a golden age of wine growing because even grapes were printed on coins. The importance of Acinipo fell down around the 3rd or 4th century and it will be Arunda, the present Ronda, the town that inherits the hegemony of the region.

I think the name given to this wine is simply perfect. Its flavor reminds of the landscapes of Ronda and its colors, the famous Puente Nuevo and the River Guadalevín breaking the mountains to make them and show the original color of this land, an origin that comes from underneath the ground, like the Roman ruins of Acinipo.

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Are you visiting Andalusia?  Maybe I can help you to organize your trip or I can be your guide. Penelope

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