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La Cuna del Fino

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Ruta Enoturística de la Comarca en El Puerto de Santa María

The Vineyards and the Lagoons

A shared origin

The sustainable use of natural resources and environmental circumstances has marked the appearance and way of life of the villages. This is what happened in our region in the northwest of the province of Cádiz.

The passage of time and the process of natural modification, as well as human intervention, have not only been the origin of many of the activities that have taken place here at different times in our history, but also of its landscape.

A shared origin

Millions of years ago, this territory was part of a delta that accumulated minerals from inland areas and incorporated sediments from intertidal life such as algae, molluscs and crustaceans.

As the sea level receded, salty lagoons were left inland which, through evaporation, became depressions with salt sheets on which mud brought by freshwater rains continued to accumulate. This reduced the salinity over the millennia, leaving deposits of very fine mud, rich in nutrients and of varying salinity depending on the area of the region, which can be more than 30 metres deep. These dried, compressed and highly desalinated muds are what make up the rich albariza.

The accumulation of this material in the hollows left by these dried-up salt ponds has turned them into deposits of very fine clays, giving rise to an interesting investigation into their origin, as to why they have reached our times without being filled in. This research suggests the possibility that they may have been "barreros", i.e. quarries for the extraction of clay for the industrial manufacture of ceramics (amphorae) used to transport oil and wine. The Laguna Chica is particularly suitable for this interpretation, due to its rectangular geometry and ramp access. This proposal coincides with the existence in the vicinity of industrial ovens from the Roman period and the presence of endorheic (having no outflow to an external body of water such as a river or ocean, and only losing water through evaporation or seepage into the ground)complexes with similar elements and characteristics in the region.

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