As you gaze across Manilva’s rolling hillsides, covered in grape vines you must have wondered what happens to the town’s grape harvest. Well most of it is sold for eating or dried on the hillsides to make the famous Malaga Raisins, whilst some of it is pressed to make wines which are sold in the local greengrocers and bars.
There is a small corner though that is striving to put Manilva on the map as a producer of fine wines and is beginning to see the fruits of that labour.
This project centres around the town’s CIVIMA Wine Centre which opened a couple of years ago and is now managed by the concession holder Nilva Enoturismo SL, directed by Argimiro Martínez Moreno.
Originally from Albacete, Argimiro’s family has been growing grapes for decades, but it was as an agricultural engineer that he came to this area in 2004. After a few years he looked into the feasibility of creating a bodega for his family’s product but the financial crisis made this unfeasible, it was then that he was approached by the Manilva Development entity, Funmades, to be a teacher for the Winemaking foundation course they were running. When this finished the Town Hall decided to invite bids for the concession to run the Wine Centre, its vineyard, production facilities and museum. Putting into the action the business plan he had drawn up for his original idea of a bodega, Argimiro was successful and won the concession.
There are three main areas to the business, the first being the growing, harvesting and production of the wine. Nilva has some 1.8 hectares of vines on the Peñoncillo site which as of this year have been officially declared as organic.
The grapes from these vines are then pressed, fermented, racked and bottled in the Centre’s production facility which has a capacity to produce 6,000 bottles of wine annually, with the first year’s harvest producing 2,650 bottles and the second 4,500. Whilst they still produce the sweet wine for which the local Muscat of Alexandria is best known for, Nilva have gone for a more easily marketed young dry white wine aimed at the hotel and restaurant sector.
Given the small capacity, Nilva are looking to produce a more high end product, and with this they have put in motion the process of being granted Denominación de Origen status, similar the French appellations, which would protect the Manilva Wine brand.
Nilva’s mission is also to develop wine tourism to the area for which they are perfectly equipped to offer guided tours to groups of visitors by appointment. There are number of options ranging from a guided tour of the centre’s museum, exhibition area, audio visual presentation, production areas, etc., after which there is an opportunity to sample the wine. Or there is the option to include a visit to the vineyards as part of the tour. Prices start at 8 euros per head for groups of ten or more, or ten euros for a minimum group of four.
The CIVIMA wine centre also boasts a 240 seat auditorium for music and theatre as well as corporate events and presentations, which is available for bookings.
For more information or to book send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call in to the Centre on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday from 11 am to 2 pm. You can also purchase a bottle of Nilva wine from the shop.
A White, dry, young wine produced from the Muscat of Alexandria variety. ABV 12.5-13%
Appearance: Straw yellow with green hues, clean and bright.
Aroma: Fruity with powerful aromas, elegant and floral characteristic of the variety.
Taste: A full wine, silky yet powerful, dense but fresh and dry at the same time.
Serve very cold (6 degrees C) Perfect for fish, seafood, rice dishes, pasta, salads, oriental cuisine, etc.
Nilva wine is available to purchase in the Wine Centre’s shop at just 9 euros a bottle.