Sometimes the idea of a holiday in Spain can conjure up images of a beach filled with hundreds of loud, slightly-pinker-than-normal Brits who you were trying to avoid in the first place (no offense home country). Altea offers something slightly more quaint than these images. As a sleepy Spanish town, drawing breath through its art scene and student population, Altea is a more intimate setting with the growing potential for guzzling tourists.
Enter Enrique Mendoza, a very small local vineyard, not far from Altea Hills. Very interested in sustainability and continuing traditional practices alongside modern technology, Enrique Mendoza is a comfortable vineyard to introduce you to some of the techniques for making a smaller batch wine and educating you on some of the concerns and benefits if you were thinking of growing your own vines (aka the dream).
We headed down to Enrique Mendoza vineyard at mid-morning to tour the facilities and sample some of the wines sold locally. Possibly not the optimum time for drinking wine, but starting with the tour of the grape vines and bottling rooms did work up a thirst.
Still a family run business, held up by the eldest son of Enrique Mendoza, the tour was full of lovely anecdotes about traditions including planting a vine on the day a new baby is born. The wine itself is generally very easy drinking with the Santa Rosa being my favourite – named affectionately after the wife of Enrique Mendoza. I also highly recommend its red dessert wine, being similar to a port if you are partial.