The secrets of Montilla-Moriles

Tinajas at Alvear in Montilla, southern Spain

A history and geography lesson centred on one of Spain's oldest wine regions. It's hot. It's dry. And it deserves more attention.

Montilla-Moriles is a historic wine region. Proof of this was given by Pliny the Elder, who, in the first century AD, wrote about the wines of ‘Bætica’. This province of Hispania took its name from the Betis river, which is today called Guadalquivir, an Arabic word from the time when it was under Moorish rule – al-wādī l-kabīr, which in the dialect of the region was wád al-kebír, literally ‘the great river’.

Its capital in Roman times...