The Alicante wine region lies near the coast, south of Valencia in southeastern Spain. The region takes its name from the historic port of Alicante from which the region’s wines were shipped from the 16th century onwards.
The region is divided into two zones; La Marina , which is a coastal area and has a Mediterranean climate with very hot summer, perfect for growing the Moscatel grape and Vinalopo, more inland, named after a local river where the climate is very hot and dry and the Monastrell grape grows well here. Originally these two grapes alongside Alicante Bouchet and Bobal were the only grape varieties permitted in the area but now other international red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha and Tempranillo and the white grapes of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have also been permitted.
Primarily a producer of sweet wines, its most famous wine is Fondillon made from very ripe Monastrell grapes which is similar to Pedro Ximenez (see Sherry), Alicante is now establishing itself as a region of serious, full bodied varietal wines.