Castilla-La Mancha Wine Region

Exploring the Largest Spanish Wine Region

Castilla-La Mancha of Spain, which is remaining as a symbol of Spanish culture in terms of its wines, is the largest wine region of the country with more than 190,000 hectares under vine cultivation.

This region also has the pride of being the world’s largest continuous growing region.

Although traditionally this region has been called as the producer of low-quality bulk wines, we could observe that more than half of the country’s wine grapes being cultivated here.

Wines
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Wine grape varieties

Also, in the recent years, the region image as a low-quality wine producer is found to be breaking in Castilla-La Mancha after the start of a winemaking revolution in the country.

Let’s explore this largest wine region here…

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide...

Introducing Castilla-La Mancha as a Wine Region

When we look back at the winemaking history of this large wine region, we can understand that the viticulture is connected with Castilla-La Mancha for centuries.

It has been observed that the first written reports on vine cultivation in this region were dated back to the 12th century.

It is believed that the wine grapes were first brought to this region by the Romans. Today, Castilla-La Mancha is home to as many as nine DOs including the largest delimited wine region of Europe – La Mancha.

Wine Growing Conditions in Castilla-La Mancha

The wine growing conditions of Castilla-La Mancha are generally referred as harsh as the climatic conditions are found to be hotter and drier.

The climatic conditions of this region are found to have some strong continental impacts with significant temperature differences between day and night and also between seasons.

During summers, the temperatures of this region could reach up to 40 degrees Celsius while during the colder winters; they would drop to freezing levels.

Although the vineyards of this region can be seen at the altitudes of 1650 to 2300 feet above the sea level the vine plants have to face the harsh climatic conditions and the lack of moisture contents in the growing seasons.

When it comes to irrigation, the following rivers are the primary sources of water supply to the region’s vineyards:

  • Tagus
  • Guadiana
  • Guadalquivir
  • Júcar
  • Segura

Winemaking in Castilla-La Mancha

All the wine producers of Castilla-La Mancha are using advanced winemaking technologies, today irrespective of the quantity of wines produced. They combine these technologies with a sensible selection of grapes along with the barrel aging techniques to produce wines of good quality.

Of the total wine produced in the country, almost 50% is coming from this region’s largest DO region La Mancha.

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Alcohol and Distilleries

Wine Grapes of Castilla-La Mancha

In Castilla-La Mancha, only the grape varieties which are able to withstand the harsh climatic conditions are found to be cultivated right from the ancient times.

Airen is the primary grape variety here which is followed by the Tempranillo variety known by the name Cenibel locally.

As Airen is not a variety in high demand, the wine producers of this region have extended their winemaking portfolios by planting other grape varieties like:

Most of the above-mentioned grape varieties that are grown in Castilla-La Mancha are used to make red blends although some varietal wines are also produced here.

List of DOs of Castilla-La Mancha

  • Valdepeñas
  • Almansa
  • La Mancha
  • Mentrida
  • Mondejar
  • Manchuela
  • Ribera del Júcar
  • Uclés
  • Jumilla

In addition to these, the region has four Pagos Vitícolas, the special DOs with the consolidated image for their wine quality in the market today. They are:

  • Finca Elez
  • Dominio de Valdepusa
  • Guijoso
  • Dehesa del Carrizal

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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