Extending across rolling Andalucian countryside between mountains and sea, Benahavis is the lesser-known, sophisticated neighbour of Marbella; a captivating destination for golfers, foodies, luxury…
Guide to wine tasting near Marbella, Spain
Marbella is one of Europe’s most sophisticated and cosmopolitan towns. The thriving gourmet scene features an impressive array of Michelin-starred restaurants including 2* Skina, and 1* Messina, Back, Nintai, and Sollo.
To match this gastro-forward reputation, wine connoisseurs (and casual aficionados) are well catered for by Andalucia’s superb wines: from the sherries of the Jerez region and Montilla-Moriles’ aged and blended wines, to the structured, elegant reds of the Ronda mountains, the salty dry whites of Cadiz and the famed Moscatel wines of Malaga.
Wine routes in Ronda are within easy reach of Marbella, while further afield (though worth the journey) is the picturesque Axarquía and Montes de Malaga area, where steep, terraced fields hide boutique wineries. Read on to learn more about Marbella’s wine scene.
Which wines come from near Marbella?
Marbella is close to five areas producing several types of wine, from honeyed-sweet to bone-dry, under two “designations of origin”: DO Málaga and its newer sub-designation, DO Sierras de Málaga.
DO Málaga wines encompass traditional raisiny-sweet Malaga wines (fortified to 15% – 22% vol.), and natural (unfortified) sweet wines, made from over-ripened grapes (at least 13% vol.), while DO Sierras de Málaga wines are lighter whites, rosés and reds (less than 15% volume). The wineries in these areas can make one or both types of wine.
The Malaga wine-making area includes the subzone Serranía de Ronda, whose viniferous fortunes were revived by award-winning German winemaker Friedrich Schatz in the 1980s.
Today there are 18 wineries in the Serrania de Ronda including Andalucia’s highest-altitude vineyards. Most are small, family-owned affairs.
Another subzone is Axarquía, to the east of Malaga city, characterised by vertiginous slopes, slate soils, and pretty villages overlooking the Mediterranean, so steep that grapes are still collected by mule.
Grape varieties grown in these regions include Pedro Ximénez (also known as PX), Doradillo, and several Moscatels (DO Málaga); and Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Tempranillo white; and Romé, Garnacha, Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo, and Petit Verdot red (DO Sierras de Málaga).
4 The best wineries and bodegas in Marbella
In terms of buying fine wines in and around Marbella, we can’t get enough of the boutique olive oil and wine shop, D’Oliva in Marbella old town, where you can enjoy a private tasting with French owner David.
1) F Schatz, Ronda
To get a handle on wine-making in the Ronda area, Bodega F Schatz is a good place to start.
Their organic, biodynamic wines embrace Acinipo, named after a local Roman site: Lemberger grapes aged in Slovenian oak barrels, with intense red fruits and a fresh Atlantic style; and Finca Sanguijuela, equal parts Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, resulting in a subtle yet powerful wine.
Tours include a visit to the vineyard and cellar, and a tasting of four to six wines.
How do you get to Bodega Shatz? Located 71km from Marbella, on the Ronda to Ronda La Vieja road.
Address: Finca Sanguijuela, 29400 Ronda.
© F.Schatz Ronda, Malaga
2) Bodegas Bentomiz, Sayalonga
The fresh, delicate wines from Bodegas Bentomiz, made in the Axarquia mountains, are influenced by cool sea breezes and slate soils.
Our pick from their Ariyanas range (from the Arabic for aromatic) are Romé Rosado, using the rare indigenous variety, a floral-citrus wine with a saline, mineral finish; and Terruña Pizarroso, an aromatic, honeyed, naturally sweet wine made from sundried Moscatel de Alejandría grapes.
The bodega is open Wednesday to Sunday for tours, tastings, and gourmet lunches (3-10 courses).
How do you get to Bodegas Bentomiz? Located 111km from Marbella, on carretera A-7206.
Address: Finca Almendro, Pago Cuesta Robano, s/n, Sayalonga 29752 Málaga
3) Descalzos Viejos, Ronda
History and art lovers will get a buzz from Descalzos Viejos close to Ronda, located in a restored 16th-century convent with frescoed walls.
Following the ecclesiastical theme, Las Santas wines are named after famous saints depicted on the convent’s altar: limited-edition monovarietals DV Rufina, a fresh, light Shiraz aged in sweet Málaga wine barrels, and DV Iusta, a cherry-toned 100% Garnacha.
All winery visits are custom-designed to suit the tastes of the individual or group.
How do you get to Descalzos Viejos? Located 65km from Marbella, on the Ronda to Grazalema road.
Address: Partido de los Molinos, 29400 Ronda
4) Victoria Ordóñez, Malaga
From a renowned Malaga wine-making family – her father is Jorge Ordóñez, who produces Botani Old Vines, Spain’s first dry Moscatel – Victoria founded her winery in 2015, the only one in Malaga city.
Her so-called “garage wines” (limited volume) are made in small batches by plot from vineyards in the Montes de Malaga (Pedro Ximenez variety) and Axarquia (Moscatel de Malaga).
Our top tip: try the balanced, rounded, extra dry sparkling rosé Las Olas de Melillero – PX with Petit Verdot, Shiraz and Tempranillo.
Tours in Victoria’s Montes de Málaga vineyards last three hours, for groups of six minimum, tasting various wines accompanied by cold tapas.
How do you get to Bodegas Victoria Ordonez? Located 56km from Marbella on Calle Ciro Alegría, 75, 29004 Málaga
How do I arrange a wine tasting tour in Marbella?
To arrange your tasting(s) at a local winery, you usually need to book in advance so why not enjoy a wine-tasting tour around several bodegas near Marbella in style and comfort, with a private chauffeur?
We offer a concierge service to arrange for you and your group to be collected from your villa and taken to the bodega(s) of your choice. If you would like a personalised wine trip to Ronda, the Montes de Málaga, Manilva, or further afield to Cádiz or Jerez, including cultural highlights in addition to winery visits, we can offer expert guides and sommeliers to plan the perfect bespoke excursion.
Who are Marbella wine tasting tours suitable for?
These tours are suitable for groups, couples or individuals – anyone who enjoys visiting a vineyard and winery to see how wines are made, from terroir to picking the grapes and pressing, maturing and bottling.
Another way of discovering the excellent wines of Andalucia is by having a professional Sommelier come to your villa. You can enjoy wine pairing menus, and tastings of various wines and sherries.
Keen to find out what else Marbella has to offer?
If our guide to wine tasting in Marbella has piqued your interest, we have a hand-selected collection of luxury villas in Marbella, with rentals to delight all tastes and budgets.
Discerning travellers love the outstanding Villa Serafina on the Golden Mile, a private 10-bedroom estate sleeping 25, complete with a temperature-controlled bodega and pre-stocking service by Casa Santi
Families and groups of friends love 6-bedroomed Villa Kynthia in Estepona, packed full of facilities including our favourite villa bodega and wine tasting room, just beckoning our Sommelier to come right on over.
Marbella has so much on offer in terms of wine and gastronomy, you could spend a month trying a different place every night and still have plenty left over!