A route is more than a physical space for transportation; it is a place for trading, a process of reciprocal learning and an excellent excuse for mutual understanding. Its spirit is able to favour economic exchange and the transfer of ideas; to promote the encounters and dialogue that will grant it its symbolic meaning.

Travelling along the route is an invitation to address it as a collective project that derives from the cooperation of the agents involved, all of whom accept a shared history they are committed to preserve and to make known. The interaction between its actors and passers-by ends up turning it into a perfect setting for the creation of new forms of development.

The Comunidad de Madrid, through its Regional Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Planning, has set up Madrid Wine Routes. The initiative is dedicated to promote the values of Madrid's wine-growing wealth, one of the most attractive features of the area's cultural heritage that visitors from both Spain and abroad are longing to explore.

itinerario The arrival of the Roman Empire

Route 1

The arrival of the Roman Empire

The first chapter in the history of Madrid's wine-growing industry was written under the influence of the Roman Empire, and the region's wines became a sign of wealth and distinction.

Towns: Alcalá de Henares, Nuevo Baztán, Pozuelo del Rey, Campo Real, Valdilecha, Carabaña, Tielmes, Perales de Tajuña, Titulcia Wineries: V de Valmores, Bodega y Viñedos Gosálbez Orti (Qubél), Bodegas Orusco

Rome extended the cultivation of vines to virtually all the corners of its empire, and at the dawn of our age wine would be known almost all over Europe: it was one of the basic ingredients of a healthy diet, accompanied all forms of celebration and ended up becoming a sign of richness, distinction and civilisation. In the first century BC, also under Roman influence, the wine-producing industry was born in the former ‘bull skin’, the Spanish territory described by Greek geographer Strabo. Exploring this route is a way of learning the importance of Madrid in the construction of Hispania, and appreciating the significance of cities such as Complutum (Alcalá de Henares) and Titulcia, that marked the beginning of the history of Madrid’s wines.

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itinerario The valley of the churches and the Cistercian legacy

Route 2

The valley of the churches and the Cistercian legacy

San Martín de Valdeiglesias was the place chosen by the Cistercian Order to develop techniques that today lie at the basis of the making of Madrid wines.

Towns: Pelayos de la Presa, San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Cadalso de los Vidrios, Cenicientos, Villa del Prado. Wineries: Bodega Alberto Ayuso, Bodega Las Moradas de San Martín, Bodega Marañones, Bodega Aumesquet Garrido

The supernatural value of wine in the Christian liturgy proved decisive in its survival. Its transcendental role in Christian rites made wine-producing activity indispensable, and was mostly concentrated around convents and monasteries where Benedictine and Cistercian monks explored techniques that would soon become essential in modern wine-making. This was the case in the region of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, an important hermitage in the Visigothic period that would be permanently unified under the Cistercian Order under the reign of Alfonso VII, ‘The Emperor’.

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itinerario The river Tajo and the wines of the Order of Saint James

Route 3

The river Tajo and the wines of the Order of Saint James

The Order of St James brought vineyards to flourish in the lands received from King Alfonso VIII in payment for its assistance in the fight against Muslim rule.

Towns: Villarejo de Salvanés, Fontidueña de Tajo, Colmenar de Oreja, Belmonte de Tajo, Castillo de Oreja. Wineries: Bodega Andrés Díaz, Muñoz Martín, Bodega Ricardo Benito, Bodega Real Cortijo de Carlos III, Bodega Viñas El Regajal

Inhabited by the remains of mediaeval bastions, this route invites travellers to relive one of the most noteworthy campaigns in the history of Madrid’s wine making, directly related to the protectorate of the Order of St James which, during the Reconquest of Spain, received lands and privileges from Alfonso VIII in reward for the help offered during the fight against Muslim rule. The presence of the knights and priors of the order made sure both former settlements and those created by military victories became permanent. Under their protection and with the River Tajo as witness, the vineyard flourished.

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itinerario Path of Kings

Route 4

Path of Kings

Even though many towns enjoyed royal favour, the route from Navalcarnero to Aranjuez is the one that best traces the transition from the Austrias to the Bourbons.

Towns: Navalcarnero, El Álamo, Aranjuez. Wineries: V de Valmores, Bodega y Viñedos Gosálbez Orti (Qubél), Bodegas Orusco

Many monarchs throughout Spanish history promoted the growth of Madrid’s towns and the development of their wine-making activity. Navalcarnero and Aranjuez would be especially important in the design of the path leading from the Austrias to the Bourbons. The former, Navalcarnero, witnessed the veiling ceremony following the wedding between Philip IV and Archduchess Mariana of Austria, thanks to which it would receive the title of Royal Town and enjoy great prosperity. The latter, Aranjuez, began its courtship of royalty in the age of Queen Isabel I. Under Philip V it was named Royal Site and flourished definitively under Charles III.

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itinerario Scenes and chronicles by Francisco de Goya

Route 5

Scenes and chronicles by Francisco de Goya

Goya, one of our most universal painters, masterfully rendered both the labour and recreation of wine and the history of the wine-making lands.

Towns: Villaconejos, Chinchón, Valdelaguna. Wineries: Bodega Señorío de Val Azul, Bodegas Pablo Morate
Museo del Vino

In eighteenth-century Spain wine was present at all forms of rejoicing, rich and poor alike. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes skilfully expressed moments of labour and of recreation and amusement; wine and the grapes that produced it became significant elements in his pictorial compositions, yet the popular Spanish scenes of the end of the eighteenth century would give way to chronicles of one of the most tumultuous periods in Spanish history at the dawn of the nineteenth century. Following the traces left by one of our most universal artists in the lands of Arganda, this route embodies the celebration of Spanish wine at the time.

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itinerario The age of the railway

Route 6

The age of the railway

Between the eighteen fifties and the eighteen eighties, wine-producing towns placed all their hopes for their definitive commercial burgeoning in the railway.

Towns: Madrid, Arganda del Rey, Morata de Tajuña, Perales de Tajuña, Tielmes, Carabaña, Orusco de Tajuña, Villar del Olmo, Nuevo Baztán, Pozuelo del Rey. Wineries: Bodega y Viñedos Gosálbez Orti (Qubél), V de Valmores, Vinícola de Arganda, Bodegas Castejón

From a modern perspective, the railway played a part in the processes of urban generation and transformation. The huge commercial growth experienced by the Spanish wine sector between the eighteen fifties and the eighteen eighties significantly altered the conception and the use of public space, transforming the city of the ancien régime into an industrial bourgeois city in which the railway would assume a key role as the last instrument employed by wine-making towns to achieve their definite commercial success. Casting a gaze back at the path covered, to understand the history of our wines means to trace the opposite route —from the city to the wine-producing towns.

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