Serraltur 2010

Serraltur 2010, Pedralba
Last weekend 15 and 16 May saw the latest fair celebrating the gastronomy of the Serranos and Alto Turia mancommunidad take place in the village of Pedralba, some 30 km out of Valencia and although not yet connected by a path, right at the head of the new Turia National Park.
The  celebrations actually started earlier in the week with the 2nd Art and Gastronomy event, held in the museum where art and great food came together, the latter organised by a number of restaurants but chiefly the villages own excellent `La Pitanza´ restaurant under its award winning chef Silvia Melendez. Seven bodegas from across the Valencian community provided the wine, a growing link between wine and art in particular which is developing in Valencia.
The fair itself was opened with a religious blessing and a visit from top politicians from the Community and and more locally. This is not entirely surprising given the importance placed on agriculture, gastronomy and of course the recently opened Turia National Park with its continuous  path  and flora and fauna observatories which allow you to walk or cycle from nearby Vilamarxant to the centre of Valencia, 25kms down the Turia river banks.
Some 40 exhibitors showed their products from this valley and mountain based community of small towns which produce almonds, honey, meat and meat products, olives, oil and light refreshing wines from the many bodegas from Alpuente and Titaguas down to Calles and Villar D´Arzobispo. It was also an opportunity for cooking demonstrations and wine tastings to celebrate the local specialities.
Apart from the butchers in the village of Pedralba itself Hermanos Lance Llovera from Tuéjar further up the CV35 showed their range of sausages and cured meat products.
Hnos. Lance Llovera
Artesanos de la Carne y Secadero de Jamones
Their range of sausages includes varieties not generally found elsewhere in the community including a dried sausage with walnuts and a darker longaniza. The morcilla d´arroz and longaniza de Pascua are also particularly good and fortunately this was the perfect opportunity to restock with a selection from across their range.
Tel 961635018
A sample dish of some of the jamon and embutidos on offer.
Olive oil from unwatered plots in the Serranos is also highly sought after and we have bought oil from Calles, Vilar, Casinos and Chulilla in the past. Exhibiting at this fair were the Co-ops from Higueralas and Alcublas, the latter showing their Peña Ramina oil, a good fruity example with a dry kick selling at 25€ for 5 litres. They also produce a dry white wine from 100% Merseguera and a fruity red from Tempranillo. Available from the co-op these two wines were available on the day for under 2€ a bottle, and can often be found in local bars and restaurants under the `Balcon de Valencia´ label, appropriate given the villages position high in the Serranos overlooking the capital.
Some of the products from the Alcublas co-op of San Antonio Abad.
Generally the wines from the Alto Turia D.O. Valencia, are lighter and fresher than their neighbours from either D.O.Utiel-Requena or lower in the Turia from the Valentino district which encompasses Vilar and even Pedralba itself. Picking is usually carried out in October higher in the Alto Turia than the other areas where August and early September is the norm now. From the Alto Turia the bodegas of Alpuente, Titaguas ( whose wines I covered in the report of the Valencia Wine fair in April ) and Alcublas, were on show. Bodegas Polo Monleon is the other bodega in Titaguas whose wines I had not come across since the Serraltur 2008 fair in Tuéjar. Jose Gregorio Polo ( Tecnico Comercial ) showed me the wines. These are sold under the Hoya de Castillo label and almost all is sold to restaurants. They produce a very yellow 70% Merseguera and 30% Macabeo white, which is fresh, with a good attack and balanced full finish. The Rosado, 100% Bobal 2008, shortly to be replaced with the 2009 vintage, was pale rasperry, clear and bright and a light red fruit nose. This was  fresh with a nice balance. The red joven style is 80% tempranillo and 20% Bobal which gives a cherry red wine with a good round young fruit perfectly ready for drinking on its own. The 2006 Crianza is  predominantly tempranillo with a small amount of other varieties. This has spent 12 months in French and American oak and was ruby red. Still quite closed on the nose it was initially lean then opened up with nice fruit, a bit more depth and a long persistent finish with a hint of what is to come. The basic range were 2€ the bottle and the Crianza 4€, all good value for money and recommended wines.
Jose Gregorio Polo and the Hoya del Castillo wines from Bodegas Polo Monleon in Titaguas.
Also worth a mention were the Jamons of Jamones Barquero from Vilar D´Arzobispo. They produce quality jamon ( around 100k annually ) with an entirely natural long curation. They produce a jamon of delicacy and complexity from white pigs and without additives. The gran Reserva was cured for 18 months and and was sweeter and more tender. The two well known Valentino bodegas of El Vilar, a large co-op with a wide range of wines and Comeche, a third generation family bodega also exhibited. Both will be subject of future visits and write-ups separately. 
Last but not least was Bodegas Vegamar from Calles which was the subject of a visit last year. They were showing a full range of wines including the newly released 2005 Reserva from Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon 13%ABV and 12€ a bottle. Paco the Commercial Director told me this had recently won a gold medal at the Bordeaux  Concurs Mondial wine show. This is garnet in colour very deep. Still quite closed on the nose there was more fruit in the mouth, red and black with balsamic touches and round, long finish. This is a wine to keep as is  the 2004 before it. The bodega is easily accessible from the centre of Calles and open for visits on alternate Saturday mornings from 10am-2pm without appointment commencing 22 May. Wines from across their range can be bought from the shop at the end of the tour which is well worth making.
This was a well organised and enthusiastic local fair showcasing the regions diversity and I look forward to next years edition in another village.
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