January 2019 Review – Day 4 Part 1 – Palacio La Inglesa (The Englishwoman’s Palace)

The outside of La Inglesa – Photo courtesy of Belén Córdoba (Mtur  Gestion)

On a previous visit Rafa Cabello asked whether we had been to La Inglesa, a palace, winery and cellar in one. With Laura feeling under the weather it was left to Erik to join Rafa on the journey into the heart of the Sierra de Montilla. When we arrived Rafa introduced Erik to the owner, Antonio Doblas Martos, his cousin Nicolas Martos, Juan Manuel (Juanma) Romero and to Belén Córdoba.

Antonio’s father acquired La Inglesa in 1964 (he also owns Bodegas Doblas in Moriles). Nicolas is the enologist for both, with Juanma Antonio’s his trusted Leiutenant. Belén is someone we had met during a visit our visit to the Feria del Vino de Tinaja y la Gastronomía de Montalbán (Fair of the Tinaja Wines and Gastronomy of Montalbán) in March 2017 when she previously worked for Bodegas Cruz Conde. She now runs her our tour company Mtur Gestion, based in Montilla, where she organises personal, themed visits to share the cultural, oenological and olive heritage of Montilla and surrounding area.

The courtyard was the first area visited. It has an impressive display of carriages on one side. Belén explained that from 4th to 26th May 2019 Bodegas La Inglesa would join other bodegas and lagars in Montilla in the 4th edition of the Patios de Bodegas with the carriages featuring prominently. She kindly sent the 2 photos below showing them during the festival.

A tour of the palace was next, very English in style. It was like stepping back in time, to another country and then back further. On the tour, through every room, Antonio explained his commitment to maintaining as much as possible of the original decoration, furniture, artwork and features of the Palace. About halfway through the tour, after seeing the chapel, we moved into the sacristy. Not just any old sacristy this one had it’s own casks. Erik was truly honoured to be able to try an Amontillado with an average age of more than 100 years and an ABV in excess of 22%. Another of those moments that make visits to the region so memorable.

Fino el Gorrión (The Sparrow Fino) straight from the cask – Note the cask in photo is from Domecq, a very famous name in the Sherry Triangle

The tour then took in the bodega. First up Antonio and Nicolas selected a Fino el Gorrión (The Sparrow Fino), ABV 15%, straight from the cask. It had the typical nose (stronger) and the colour (greener) of a Moriles fino but the palate (more delicate). This was one of the more interesting finos Erik has tried in our many visits. The second was an another Amontillado, again straight from the cask, at around 22% ABV. This wine was only released onto the market in April 2018 during the Cata del Vino in Córdoba. Laura eventually did get to try a wine from Bodega La Inglesa in Madrid in April 2019. More of that for another article.

Once again another amazing experience for Erik only this time. Thank you so much to Antonio, Nicolas, Juanma and Belén for your time, photography and hospitality and to Rafa for organising the tour. Hopefully Laura will be able to visit in the not to distant future.

Left to Right – Belén , Erik, Rafa, Antonio and NicolasHistorical Background of Palacio La Inglesa

A brief history

“Information obtained from the Portal of the Junta de Andalucía”.

The history of this winery is closely linked to the Alvear family, in whose hands it remained until recently, alluding to the second wife of Don Diego de Alvear and Ponce de León, the Englishwoman Luisa Rebeca Ward. Although there is a legend that it was built especially for her by her husband, the current building is of a later date and is due, for the most part, to her grandson, Francisco de Alvear and Gómez de la Cortina, VII count of La Cortina, who carried out in the first decades of the twentieth century, the important modernization and expansion of the building and family heritage. In fact, the date of its construction is documented staring in 1870 with completion in 1913 according to an existing inscription in the chapel. The main place of residence of the family in the countryside of Montilla historically, it’s interior still retains numerous family memories and the atmosphere of the style or the era, since the original furniture and decoration have been maintained.

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C / February 28, 25

14510 Moriles (Córdoba)

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