Fortified wines are those whose alcohol content is between 15 and 23º. They are elaborated through specific aging systems and with a complete fermentation of the must. They are aged in oak barrels and exist in a sweet or dry version. Nowadays, the area where more fortified wines can be found is in Andalusia, mainly in Jerez.
The base wine from which a fortified wine is made has a graduation of between 11 and 15º, it is a young, light and very clean wine. Depending on the characteristics of this wine, it will be used to make different types of fortified wines: fino, oloroso, amontillado,... the aging process varies according to the type of fortified wine. So that the wine has some particular characteristics, the system of criaderas and soleras is used. The last process in the elaboration of these wines is the harmonization and bottling of the wine.
Spanish fortified wines also are called "generosos".
Not only the Jerez area produces this kind of wines. The wines with D.O. Porto, known for its sweet red version, are also very popular. Málaga also produces fortified wines made mainly with Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez grapes.
We also want to emphasize that this type of wines pair well with all kinds of desserts, such as desserts with chocolate or fruit cakes. They are also ideal to accompany nuts.