After the reconquest of Alcalá de Benzayde by Alfonso XI, the first dwellers –half soldiers- cleared the forests around the fortress and ploughed the virgin soil with their chargers. Vegetables and fruit trees were planted on the banks of the stream flowing westerly; the rest of the ploughed land, chiefly the southern plain –currently known as El Coto, was allocated to cereals. Beyond breaking-ups, there was only place for impenetrable and sombre scrub and undergrowth as well as for forests of centenary holm oaks and strawberry trees, where vermin and crowds of Muslim bandits would have their hideouts.

Due to such a reduced space and so powerful enemies, it is perfectly understandable that agriculture did not make any progress at all. As a result, crops were not sufficient to face up to the overwhelming needs of life and, furthermore, they were usually stolen and even burnt out by the Muslim bandits. In this situation, events took a new turn when the best and nearest areas to the fortress were densely planted with vineyards, and the rest of the land was dedicated to cattle raising, thus originating the great number of paths and cattle trails existing at present. Unfortunately, these are disappearing as the result of the constant expansion of arable land and authorities’ weakness. It was owing to the usage of the best pieces of land and the extreme care taken to cultivate vines –as it was the only source of wealth- that wine was of excellent quality. Soon, this wine became renowned and was known nationwide.

According to a chronicle kept in the Provincial Historical Archive of Granada, only exquisite wines from Alcalá la Real were served to the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, in the town of Granada, during the celebration of the Spanish Reconquista (reconquest).

Once Granada had surrendered and thanks to none other than the Queen Joanne of Castile, known as Joanne the Mad, wine industry and vineyard plantations would probably develop rapidly as Alcalá was enjoying the privilege of being the only seller of wine in Granada during the months of October, November and December.

Viñedos y Bodega Marcelino Serrano®
Blanca Mª Serrano Serrano
Office: Avd Iberoamérica, 27-Bajo.
23680 Alcalá la Real (Jaén)
Phone: (+34)647 62 69 55
email : info@marcelinoserrano.com