Bodega in the spotlight: Dimobe
Flanked to the north by the impressive peaks of the Sierra de Tejada and to the south by swaying waves of the Mediterranean Sea are the vineyards of Bodega Dimobe. To be precise between the villages of Moclinejo (where the bodega is located) and Almachar. Dimobe was founded in 1927 by Juan Muñoz Navarrete, who started with only seven wine barrels. He sold his sweet wine ´a granel´ especially to the bars in the Axarquia. Not per bottle but in small vessels of at least five liters. The bodega is now in the hands of his grandson, the passionate third generation winemaker Antonio Muñoz Cabrera. It is without doubt one of the most emblematic bodegas in the province, where tradition and innovation go hand in hand. The bodega now produces a wide variety of wines (some world-class) that are exported to many countries.
The vineyards are located on the very steep, hot slopes of the Axarquia, the region northeast of Malaga, with Velez-Malaga as its capital. The soil is bone dry and consists of slate slabs with in between enough soil to retain water, a beautiful micro climate that provides plenty of minerality. This is the perfect environment where the aromatic Moscatel de Alejandria grape, the queen of the Axarquia, thrives best. Due to its thick skin, this grape is able to withstand the many hours of intense sunshine. The sweltering warmth of this region is the basis of impressive sweet wines.
The grapes are fully ripe and packed with sugars. Spread around the rolling land are the ‘paseras’, the grape beds in which the grapes are sunbathing after harvesting to dry out and extract water, which further increases the natural sugar content. In addition to Moscatel, the native white grape varieties Pedro Ximenez and Doradilla are also grown on the Dimobe vineyards. The grapes are harvested manually and due to the enormous steepness of the slopes, they can only be transported to the bodega by donkey. A way of harvesting that fits very well in a time of climate change and the desire to reduce our CO2 emissions. The yield is on average one kilogram of grapes per vine. The ‘least’ quality wine is still sold ‘a granel’. They can be enjoyed in many bars and restaurants throughout the province. The best wines mature on wood and a small part of it even 35 years (in barrels which in turn are many decades old). Like the sensational ‘Arcos de Moclinejo’ in the sweet and dry version (both by Pedro Ximenez). Of these exceptional wines, no more than about three hundred bottles are bottled each year. These wines represent like no other the great history of the traditional wines from Malaga.
Winemaker Antonio Muñoz Cabrera has never avoided innovation in addition to his passion for preserving tradition. In addition to the highly alcoholic wines, he also wants to make still wines with a maximum alcohol percentage of 15.5 percent. The ‘normal’ red, white and rosé wines, better known to the general public, especially outside the province.
Dimobe already introduced Lagar de Cabrera blanco with a dry still wine from Moscatel de Alejandria in 2003. Many bodegas have followed this example, it has even become an obvious trend in the province. They are strongly aromatic but dry wines that now occupy a very special place in the beautiful range of regional products and their characteristic flavor profile. Lagar de Cabrera tinto (´joven´ and ´crianza´) is a red wine made from 100% Syrah. Finca la Indiana a beautiful, sturdy robust 100% Petit Verdot (also an increasing trend in the province).
To further shape his innovative ambitions, Cabrera has partnered with his friend, the well-known and renowned enologist Vicente Inat.
Under the appropriate name Bodegas Viñedos Verticales (bodega of the vertical vineyards) they together produce a number of modern, elegant still wines in which they have searched for the best expression of Moscatel and Pedro Ximen in combination with sufficient freshness and minerality. The dry Filitas y Lutitos is a blend of Moscatel and Pedro Ximen, La Raspa of Moscatel and Doradilla. Noctiluca is a beautiful sweet Moscatel wine packed with freshness.
Past and present come together at Bodega Dimobe. The past is reflected not only in the wines but also in the beautiful little wine museum that houses the bodega. A small monument to the great wines and their history, born between La Maroma, the highest peak in the province of Malaga and the blue freshness of the Mediterranean sea.