🍷 Fancy trying some of the local grape in Javea… well then you need to head straight to Les Freses Vineyard for the wine tasting. Tapas and wine never tasted so good!
Driving through the back roads of Javea on a morning outing, you may happen across a small group wandering among the grape vines at Les Freses. These lucky fellows have booked in for the vineyard and wine tasting tour. And one sunny morning, we were this group. Below we tell you all about it.
Our friend lives in Javea, and during one of our 3 month long visits, she mentioned that we might like to go wine tasting. When does an avid wine lover, turn down a wine tasting… umm never! Consequently, a call was made and a reservation for Les Freses Winery confirmed. I’m so glad she told us about it, as the experience was fab, from start to finish.
Read on for information regarding the price, the booking details, the experience and the wines. Just to clarify, I’m not an expert… nor a connoisseur. But I have participated in my share of wine tastings, in places such as Stellenbosch, South Africa; Tblisi, Georgia; Matakana, New Zealand & more.
So if a boutique winery, and unique local wines sound like your cup of tea – then I suggest you better read on. Because a wine tasting in Javea, has to be a holiday highlight if you ask me 😉
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A Review to Wine Tasting at Les Freses – Javea
The Marina Alta & Les Freses
On our map and list of 21 best things to do in Javea… spot number 18? Well this is the location of Les Freses Vineyard. Just 20 minutes outside the historic centre of Javea on a country road, hugging the side of Montgo Natural Park, is the small boutique winery.
In fact this little peninsula of Spain you can see above, from Calpe in the south, Denia in the north, and inland to the west, is an area known as the Marina Alta. It’s a super little destination for wine tasting, with a history rich in wine making, and a special grape with a distinct flavour.
Marina Alta is known as a region well suited to growing the grape variety – Muscat of Alexandria. This means that Les Freses specialises in muscatel wines. But before you, say… oh but I don’t like sweet wines… wait! Les Freses produce a dry muscatel that is different to other muscatels you might have tried.
These dryer Spanish wines, made with the Muscat of Alexandria, are a more recent exploration into wine making and prove very popular. And in terms of location, this versatile grape, typically found in the Marina Alta, thrives along the Mediterranean coastal climate. Therefore, with a unique combination of location and grape, the boutique vineyards such as Les Freses, have redefined local wines.
In short, it changed my perception of a muscatel wine.
History of Les Freses
The land where the Les Freses vineyards now grow, started out as strawberry fields. But alas, it was not to be… strawberry fields forever (see what I did there). A shift in focus, saw Les Freses move from strawberries to grapes. Hence the strawberry inspired logo and name les freses, which means strawberries in Valencian.
On embarking on their journey into winemaking, Les Freses have proudly returned to local heritage and history, for some of their wine making methods. As a result, you will learn how the grapes are handpicked, and then fermented, not only in stainless steel drums, but also in wooden barrels, glass damajuana, and in the clay amphora.
Another historical fact that I found very interesting on our tour – was the destruction caused to European vineyards, by the phylloxera fly. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s this insect, closely related to the aphid, arrived from the United States. European vines were particularly susceptible, and the phylloxera essentially decimated all vineyards in their path. This is why the Valencia region is now known for oranges, as they turned from grapes to oranges.
However, these days in the Marina Alta, there is a return to traditional wine making methods. Solutions such as grafting different varieties of grape vines onto stronger rootstock, has seen positive results. Luckily for us!
The Winery & Vineyard Tour
On our arrival, we were greeted by a friendly Les Freses team member, who would host our wine tasting for the day. And it wasn’t long, before other eager tasters turned up, also ready for the morning ahead. In total we were a group of about 16.
Beginning with a tour of the vineyards, we quickly got a sense that this was a family run business. One in which the project participants were very passionate about. The thought of artisan wines, springs to mind as you stroll around the property and hear the story of Les Freses vineyard.
The second part of the tour, included a visit into the cellar to see the wine making process in person. Large stainless steel drums and wine making apparatus, filled the small space. But most intriguingly, my attention was caught by the few large clay vessels.
These, are ancient amphora wine fermentation vases. These clay amphora are made by a local potter, and are a tribute to ancestral wine making practices. To give you an idea on production, Les Freses made just 1400 bottles of Àmfora wine in the year 2021. Therefore, it’s so much more than just a wine, it’s also an art.
The Wine Tasting
After the tour, we made our way to taste three wines, two white and one red. I recommend you read the linked descriptions for each wine listed below. As I remind and again reiterate, I am no sommelier!
The first muscatel, was aptly named Les Freses which we were told pairs well with seafood. In our case, it was paired with a tapa plate of potato crisps, anchovy mayonnaise and olives. It worked perfectly, hitting the tasting off to a great start.
The second wine was the Dolç. It was golden in colour, with a full flavour and pairs well with cheeses and meats. My mouth still drools at the thought of the fresh bread, sobrasada and honey, which was served as our second tapa and accompaniment.
To finish we enjoyed a glass of the red blend, Tallaruques. The tasting experience from start to end was unhurried and we were offered a refill, after we’d finished each glass.
Then when everything was said and done, we were invited back to the cellar for any further sample that might take our fancy. This was my opportunity to ask further about the Àmfora, and to have a little taste 😉
How to Book Wine Tasting at Les Freses
Reservations for the wine tasting tour can be made by calling Les Freses on 682 53 94 63. You will be asked to make an online payment to secure your booking.
I would note – you must book your tour and wine tasting in advance. Spaces fill quickly, particularly in the busy summer months.
Tours are made daily (except Tuesday), from 10am to 12pm. And a minimum of 6 people is required for the tour, with a maximum of 20 people. The price is 18€ per person, which includes three wines, and two tapas.
On the their website, a second guided tour is offered to the archaeological site of Benimaquia. This tour lasts 5 hours and also includes three wines and tapas.
Taking Kids Wine Tasting at Les Freses
Yes you can even take the kids! When I called to enquire and make the reservation, we were told that they could also participate in the wine tasting.
For a small fee, they were served a grape juice for tasting along with tapas.
Given that the vineyard is located on a large plot of land, there is plenty of wiggle room. Obviously, you wouldn’t let them loose in the vineyards, but while we enjoyed the tasting, our two found rocks to climb.
How to Get to Les Freses
Take the CV 735 road from the Historic Centre of Javea. Approximately 7km along this route, you’ll see Les Freses Celler on your left. Take the CV 738 towards Jesus Pobre, taking your first left into the vineyard.
Be sure to nominate a designated driver before your wine tasting tour. From time to time there are police checkpoints in Javea, so you wouldn’t want to put yourself at risk of being over the legal limit. For reference, in Spain the legal limit is 0.5 grammes of alcohol per litre of blood. In other words, for men between 70-90kg this is around 200ml of wine, and woman between 50-70kg this is around 100ml of wine.
If you prefer to participate in the wine tasting without the concern of who will drive home, you have the following options –
Take a Taxi – Radio Taxi have the largest fleet of taxis in Javea. You can call them on 965 793 224. Check their rates online, and download the app to book your taxi with ease.
Rent a Bike – Depending on where you are staying, you’ll find a few options for bike rental. Xabia’s Bike is in the Port; Blanca Bikes is in the Historic Centre; and Rent Bike Javea in the Arenal.
More on Wine Tasting & Les Freses in Javea
Don’t have enough time to do the tour? Don’t worry! There are a couple of places where you can find Les Freses wines locally in Javea.
Firstly, if you’re in Spain, you can buy online through the Les Freses website – shipping in Spain is free.
The excellent Riurau Market in Jesus Pobre is held every Sunday from 9am to 2pm. Take the opportunity to explore this beautiful local farmer and artisan market, while at the same time picking up a couple bottles of Les Freses finest.
Jump into Casa del Vino at the Arenal in Javea or buy online. They also have wine tasting events, usually on chosen Thursdays, for a small fee of 5€. Check their events page for more details.
MORE FROM IN AND AROUND JAVEA –
💎 Read our review of our stay at Villa Riu Blanc near Javea – they love local wine as much as we do!
🛶 Read our review from our kayak and snorkelling tour in Javea – this is a must if you want to see the best of the local coastline.
✨ Read our full guide of things to do in Javea for a full list of summer fun activities and ideas!
🛋 Read our complete where to stay guide in Javea for the best hotels, apartments and villas for your stay.
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