Almansa is a small appellation located in the southeast of the province of Albacete in Castilla-la Mancha. There are currently just 12 wineries here producing both red and white wines. Recent years have seen a focus on Garnacha Tintorera and the grape is quietly becoming the speciality of the area.
Manchuela DO is a relatively large wine region around one-hundred kilometres southeast of Cuenca. Up until 1982, the area was part of the larger La Mancha DO, but driven by a desire to deliver quality wines through innovative practice and new technology, growers set about establishing their own appellation with these principal aims. Their wish was granted in 2000, when Manchuela received its own DO designation, and today, the area is known for its red wines from Bobal, Cencibel (Tempranillo) and Garnacha amongst others.
Granted Denominación de Origen status in 1976, the Spanish appellation of Méntrida has a history of winemaking dating back to the early 1500s. Today, there are approximately six-thousand hectares under vine across three distinct sub-zones - Talavera, Torrijos and Sagra-Toledo, and red wines dominate with Garnacha representing the lion’s share of the vineyard. The seasonal temperature variations in this part of Spain are significant with intense summer heat and droughts, replaced by sub-zero temperatures and frosts in winter, hence site selection is key for successful viticulture. In recent years, wines from Méntrida DO have begun to be recognised for their quality, both domestically and on the international stage.
Like it’s neighbour, Manchuela DO, Ribera del Júrcar was once part of the larger La Mancha appellation. Granted Denominación de Origen status in 2003, grapes grown in this region enjoy a long ripening period, delivering high quality, elegant wines that are largely considered good value. Red grapes rule with Cencibel (Tempranilllo) and Bobal the most prevalent, along with French varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The small amount of white wine produced here comes from Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel.
Around one-hundred kilometres east of Madrid, Uclés DO is a wine region of Castilla-La Mancha, best known for its wines from the Cencibel (Tempranillo) grape. Other permitted red grapes are Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, whilst white wines can be made from Chardonnay, Verdejo, Moscatel, Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc. The appellation’s diverse topography creates three sub-zones, with each set of distinct growing contusions expressed in the wines they produce.
Established in 1932, Valdepeñas DO is an appellation for wines in the southern part of Spain’s Castile-La Mancha region. The appellation - which is almost entirely surrounded by La Mancha DO - has a long history of winemaking and is renowned for its Clarete or Aloque wines which blend red and white grapes. The continental climate brings extreme heat in summer and winter temperatures that can drop below zero. Droughts are common and hence the area’s lime-rich soils are essential for locking in moisture and ensuring vine health. Permitted grapes here include Cencibel (Tempranillo), Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon for reds, and Airén, Chardonnay and Moscatel for whites.
Vinos de Madrid - established in 1990 - is a Denominación de Origen for wines to the south of Spain’s capital city, which is divided into three distinct sub-zones - Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martín. Whilst the climate can be described as broadly continental, subtle variation across the three areas creates a unique set of growing conditions in each. Garnacha and Tempranillo (known here as Tinto Fino), are the most prominent red grapes, whilst Airén and Albillo are the most significant whites. Today, the Vinos de Madrid DO continues to grow its reputation as a quality wine region, having been associated with mass market production for a large part of the twentieth century.