Situated in the town of Montilla a few kilometres south of Cordoba in the heart of Andalucia, Alvear has been a family run bodega since the late 18th century and today there are still more than 50 members of the family who help run the business. Prominent among them is Maria Alvear an eighth generation family member. Their winemaker is Bernado Lucena.
The region of Montilla-Moriles, from where they produce their wines, is known for producing both fortified wines in the style of sherry (once much of the production from here went straight to Jerez for use in sherry) and, in more recent times, for a growing range of unfortified table wines. The principal grape of Montilla-Moriles is Pedro Ximenez which, while it crops up in other regions, here is really its natural home and where it's a very adaptable variety. The styles of wines produced range from this grape range from super-sweet fortified wines akin to PX sherries right through to light and fruity table wines.
On the one hand, with their extensive lineage, Bodegas Alvear produce wines with all the tradition and heritage you'd expect, but with Maria Alvear's influence they're also enthusiastically embracing the twenty first century with modern wines that are a true reflection of the superb terroir of the Sierra de Montilla. This is particularly evident in their most recent project is their range of '3 Miradas' wines firmly focussed on the terroir of Montilla which have been made in collaboration with Envinate, a cutting edge Spanish based group of 'flying winemakers'. These are unfortified wines made from Pedro Ximenez grapes. They show a different and contemporary side to the wines of this region and certainly merit a closer look.