Almansa Designation of Origin
History: In ancient times this area of Castilla-La Mancha was frontier territory. The castle, of Muslim origin although with subsequent Christian additions, was built to protect the Valley of the Vinalopó, which marked the border between the medieval kingdoms of Castile and Aragón. It obtained the Designation of Origin indication in the year 1975.
Geography and soil: Almansa is located in the south-eastern part of the province of Albacete, and it consists of 8 municipalities, with the location of Almansa considered as the centre point of the Designation. It has an extension of 7,600 hectares. The vineyards are mainly to be found in the areas surrounding the cities of Almansa and Bonete. The vines are planted on gentle relief terrains, which are somewhat more abrupt in the north-western part of the area, at a height that ranges between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level. The vineyards tend to be found on the flatlands that are characterized by permeable, calcareous soil, poor in nutrients, although ideal for the production of quality wines.
Climate: The climate in this area is very harsh, semi-arid and continental, with very cold winters and very hot summers. Rainfall is rather scarce (standing at about only 350 mm a year) and poorly shared-out, with rainfall being more abundant in the spring and fall.
Varieties: Among the White wine grapes the Merseguera variety is cultivated, although three quarters of the vineyard is reserved for the red wine grape varieties Monastrell and Grenache Tintorera, vine stocks that allow for the production of robust, dry and mellow wines. Currently, however, Tempranillo wine grapes are also to be found in about 15% of the vineyards. Cabernet Sauvignon is also being cultivated in experimental fashion. The vine stocks are planted in accordance to diverse models, with a maximum density of 1,600 per hectare.