Jumilla Designation of Origin
History: Vines have been cultivated in this area since the time of the Romanization of Hispania. However, since fortunately the phylloxera plague in Europe did not affect this area, its economic expansion turned into a reality with an increase in vine plantations and a significant increase in exports of free-run juice to the neighbouring country, which resulted in a flourishing of the local agrarian sector. With the passing of time Jumilla was to become one of the oldest Designations of Origin in Spain, with its regulation dating from 1966.
Geography and soil: This area is located in the south-eastern part of Spain, being characterized by wide valleys and plateaus, bordered by mountains and representing a transition area between the eastern Mediterranean and the Castellano-Manchego plateau, with two extensive areas fortifying the production: the municipality of Jumilla, in the province of Murcia and six municipalities in the province of Albacete (Castilla-La Mancha). Currently there are more than 30,000 hectares of planted vineyard. The soil, dark and lime-bearing, has developed over rocky calcareous deposits from the Miocene debris of the surrounding sierras. The soil is poor in organic material, although it has good moisture retaining properties and an average permeability level.
Climate: Although the climate is tempered by the proximity of the Mediterranean, it does actually correspond to a continental climate, with a distinct arid nature. Rainfall is one of its main climatic problems, due to the scarcity and irregularity of the rainfall, with extended drought periods. Rainfall takes place mostly in the spring and fall, with the mean pluviometric index standing at about 300 mm/year.
Varieties: The geographic scope of the area makes these lands ideal for the cultivation of the Monastrell grape variety, which is the most important one of the Designation, constituting more than 80% of the vineyard. This is a dignified variety, austere and resistant, growing in small bunches, with a dark colouring and an abundance of sugars, as of which intense ruby red coloured wines are obtained. Other varieties grown in the area are Tempranillo, Grenache Tintorera, Grenache, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot for red wine grapes. The white wines are obtained as of the grape varieties Airén, Macabeo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Small Grain Muscat, Pedro Ximénez and Malvasía.