Manchuela Designation of Origin
History: In the original official division of Spain’s Designations of Origin, which was in 1966, this territory was already quite differentiated from its neighbours, although forty years have had to elapse for this instance to turn into a reality. Originally, Manchuela formed part of the temporary Designation of Origin, which was much larger and included another three La Mancha Designations of Origin: La Mancha, Almansa and Méntrida. In the year 1982 it was decided to separate each one of these regions so that they would be able to have their own Regulator Board to defend their particular interests. Consolidation of this Designation of origin actually barely dates since July 28 of 2000.
Geography and soil: This territory comprises the lands located between the Júcar and Cabriel rivers, southeast of the province of Cuenca and northeast of the province of Albacete. In total there are seventy municipal terms, amongst which the Albacete capital’s surrounding lands can be included and in Cuenca, representing the epicentre, we have Motilla del Palancar. The vines grow on the plateau, at a height above sea level standing between 600 and 700 metres. The soil is clay-bearing with a calcareous base made up by sediments from both rivers.
Climate: The climate is continental with a mean annual temperature of about 13º. Rainfall stands at about 600 l/m2. Although the climate is continental, the height and humid and fresh winds that sweep in from the Mediterranean at night time tend to slow down the rate at which the vines grow and the tremendous amount of sunlight that the vines receive during their ripening period reduces the risk of disease and, therefore, the quality of the vines is not affected by plant protection treatments.
Varieties: Although the autochthonous grape, Bobal, represents about 70% of the vineyard area, new plantations of imported varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot and Syrah are also to be found. Likewise, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes now complement the Albillo and Verdejo grapes for white wines.