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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

D.O. La Mancha

Description to D.O. La Mancha

Historic landscape in the centre of Spain, geographically known as Castilla-La Mancha (Castillo-La Mancha) and formerly as New Castile (Castilla la Nueva). At just under 80,000 square kilometers, the region is the third largest in Spain after Castile-León (Old Castile) to the north and southern Andalusia. La Mancha and the western region of Extremadura belong to the huge plateau landscape Meseta. La Mancha became famous mainly through the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) and his famous novel "Don Quixote de la Mancha". In the weiutflächigen plain with the numerous typical windmills there are extreme climatic conditions with frosty winters up to under 20 °Celsius minus and hot very dry summers with frequently over 40 °Celsius. The Moorish name "Manxa" (parched land) describes this very aptly; in Spanish it means "the spot".

La Mancha - Windmühle

On average, there are more than eight hours of sunshine a day, for all 365 days of the year. Rainfall is very low, averaging between 300 and 400 mm a year. The soil is mostly reddish brown sand and loam with minor limestone islands. The stocking density in the vineyards is very low, with 2.5 metres between the vines, and the vines are trained very low to the ground so that each vine gets enough water due to the dryness. The peculiar checkerboard pattern of the vineyards is called Marco real. The vineyards in this vast area account for 450,000 hectares of vines, about half of Spain's total vineyard area, making it clearly the largest wine-growing area in the world by far.

The DO area of La Mancha, named after the region, covers only part of the huge area, but is still by far the largest of Spain, with around 200,000 hectares. There have been and still are attempts to divide La Mancha into several sub-areas, but they have failed so far. Other independent DO areas in the region are Almansa, Manchuela, Méntrida, Mondéjar, Ribera del Júcar, Uclés and Valdepeñas. There are also eight relatively small areas classified as Vino de Pago, which are among the best in terms of quality. These are Campo de la Guardia, Dehesa del Carrizal, Dominio de Valdepusa, Finca Élez, Pago Calzadilla, Pago Casa del Blanco, Pago Florentino and Pago Guijoso.

La Mancha extends below Madrid almost 200 kilometers deep into the south to the border of Andalusia. More than three quarters of the vineyards are planted with the white grape variety Airén. It was used massively after the phylloxera disaster, because it is ideally suited for the hot and dry climate (which is why fungal diseases are almost unknown). For the most part, it produces simple white wines and base wines for distillates. From the mid-1980s onwards, there was a shift towards quality wines. When Spain entered the EU in 1986, it had to commit to clearing about a third of its vineyards. Other white wine varieties are Pardilla (Pardillo), Viura (Macabeo), Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The most important red wine variety is Cencibel (Tempranillo), others are Garnacha Tinta, Moravia Agria, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

In this section you will find
currently 145,317 Wines and 22,930 Producers, including 2,442 classified producers.
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