Last year in October I wrote on the sweet wines of Northwestern Spain, the tostados of Ribadavia. In the 17th Century those tostados were exported to a.o. England and were very sought after. They were made from grapes dried over the winter months, in the house. In the region itself, these sweet wines were meant to be drunk at weddings and other festivities.
A short newsitem in Decanter got me thinking: I suspect that lots of other regions in Spain, and may be even all over the Mediterranean, knew this tradition. Making sweet wine from dried grapes is most likely the oldest method of producing sweet, syrupy wines!
Decanter writes: Dinastía Vivanco in Rioja Alta and Bodegas Loli Casado in Rioja Alavesa are among the first to make commercially available sweet wines known locally as ‘supurados’. These were historically made from grapes dried through the winter in lofts and made into dessert wines for special occasions.
Read the Decanter article here.