The Bobal grape is native to the Utiel-Requena region and derives its name from the Spanish word for a bull’s head-bovale. Bobal was historically used to produce red table wine, but in recent years has been cultivated to produce some of Spain’s most delicious rosé wines.
Bobal is a variety of Vitis Vinifera, a red grape used in winemaking. It is native to the Utiel-Requena region in Valencia, Spain. The name derives from the Latin bovale, in reference to the shape of a bull’s head. It is grown predominantly in the Utiel-Requena DO where it represents about 90% of all vines grown, and is also present in significant quantities in Valencia, Cuenca and Albacete. It can only be found in small quantities in other regions of Spain: La Manchuela (Castile La Mancha), selected vineyards in Ribera de Guadiana DO, Alicante DO, Murcia, Campo de Borja, Calatayud, Cariñena, Valdejalón. Small quantities are also grown in Rosellón (south of France) and in Sardinia (Italy). A rare white variety of the same name also exists. According to the data from the Spanish Vine Registry (Registro Vitícola Español) of 31 July 2004, Bobal is the third most planted variety in Spain with 90,000 ha (8%), coming behind Airén 305,000 ha (27%) and Tempranillo 190,000 (17%).
The best wines are deep, soft color. Bobal has traditionally been used for the production of bulk wine, but producers working in higher altitudes than 800 metres (2,625 feet) above sea level, as Bodega De Moya are taking this variety more seriously and give it the attention it deserves.