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HISTORY OF THE WINE IN MIJAS

The first mention of wine-making in Mijas goes back to the 16th century, after the Reconquest by Castille and coinciding with the boom in vine-growing following the Muslim era. From the documents consulted, the amount of production cannot be exactly ascertained, but this appears to have been high, from the existence of documents that provide evidence of numerous sales of wine that the residents of Mijas make to those of Benalmádena, which explains that with its wine production, not only did it supply the village, but there was a surplus that was sold to the neighbouring village. From these documents it also learned that there were many villagers owning vineyards, obtaining good grape harvests that they transformed into wine to be sold, and others who, with smaller vineyards, made wine for their own consumption. The years to which reference is made in these documents are 1529 and 1530. In 1529 it says there is a sale of wine to the villagers of Benalmádena and another sale here of eight arrobas (a unit of liquid measure) at sixty maravedíes (an old Spanish coin) per arroba and thirteen arrobas of “torrentes” wine and a further six arrobas at the same price.

In 1530 there was a sale of fourteen arrobas of wine and sixty arrobas of grape juice at forty maravedíes per arroba. Another later mention that shows how wine production continues in Mijas although to a lesser extent, is dated almost at the end of the 17th century, between the years 1675 and 1680 and where, in Actas Capitulares (historical administrative documents) dated 1676 it mentions the taxes levied on food products and a reduction in the price of the arroba of wine to 4 and 5 reales. The commercial crisis suffered in Málaga during that period had a negative effect on the town, and from the same Actas Capitulares we also learn that wine production in Mijas decreased, as an innkeeper of the town, Alonso Martín Valdivia, attempted to buy wine in Antequera to use in his tavern.

Two centuries later (19th C), there is also record of wine production and this is seen to continue in Mijas, having begun in the 16th century and continued until the 19th. The reference comes from the pen of P. Madoz in his Geographical, Statistical and Historical Dictionary of Spain and its overseas possessions, published in 1850, where in the section for Mijas and specifically mentioning production, he makes reference to wine being the product made in Mijas.

From the first decade of the 20th century, vines began to be replanted in the lowlands near the coast and Fuengirola and the hills closer to the village were left for pasture or cereals. It gradually began acquiring more importance as an agricultural product to the extent that at harvest-time, it absorbed not only the manpower of the village, but also required more men to come from the eastern part of the province of Málaga for grape-picking in Mijas.