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The Region of Murcia benefits from excellent weather conditions, soil and human resources for grape-growing and producing quality wines. The variety of different soils and climate conditions allows the production of an extensive range of red, rosé and white wines.
The region's wine-growing areas, covering a total of 35,437 hectares, are primarily found in its three Designated Origin wine areas: Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla. Vines are also grown in the wine-producing districts of Abanilla and Cartagena. Wines from the latter are marketed as 'Vinos de la Tierra del Campo de Cartagena'.
The Region of Murcia's wines are marked by the characteristics of the Monastrell grape, a red variety with small, compact bunches, which is perfectly adapted to the environmental conditions in this area. Monastrell wines are deeply coloured and full-bodied and come in a very extensive, high quality range that includes young, crianza, reserva, natural sweet, fortified and sparkling wines, sometimes in combination with complementing red varieties: Teinturier Grenache, Cencibel, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. These are also used to produce varietal and single varietal wines.
White wines are produced using Macabeo, Airen, Pedro Ximenez, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and small-grain Muscat varieties. The application of innovative wine-making techniques has given rise to the production of new wines, which are fresher, fruity and well-balanced, and take better advantage of the qualities of the Monastrell grape, without forgoing any of its personality.
RED GRAPE VARIETES
With 52% Monastrell grapes, the Region of Murcia is the main producer of this variety. With its small, compact bunches, Monastrell is well adapted to the harsh conditions of Murcia's drylands. Monastrell wines respond well to the requirement for quality wines with intense colour, pronounced fruitiness, well integrated alcohol content, good balance and structure and plenty of body, which are very much in demand in today's marketplace.
Bunches are not overly compact and the skin is tough, with lots of colour. This variety has the highest pip to pulp ratio of all varieties, around 1 to 12 (unbeatable for tannins). This allows it to be mixed with more subtle varieties. It has a natural affinity to oak, combining with it to perfection.
Bunches are medium in size with fairly loose berries. Subtle tannins and high sugar content. Cultivation in hot climates can be tricky because of its low malic acid content and the resulting wines may have little life. It adapts well to a wide variety of soils and microclimates. Very drinkable as a young wine and yet perfectly complemented by wood.
This is a good producing variety. In order to obtain good quality wine, yield should be low, respecting the concentration of flavours, with a long, cool fermentation finishing with a good ageing in wood. It produces structured, long-lasting wines and is excellent in combination with Monastrell.
Also known as 'Sensible', it produces medium to full-bodied wines with great delicacy and finesse, which are particularly suited to ageing in oak. Grapes from vines that are more than thirty years old produce vigorous yet refined wines. Perfectly adapted to the cooler areas of the Region of Murcia.
WHITE GRAPE VARIETIES
A white grape variety with enormous potential for the production of fine wines. It is generally drunk during its first few years of life in order to fully appreciate the splendour of the grape. It produces wine that is highly perfumed and fruity, with a fragrant touch of mango, apple, peach, apricot and vanilla. There are also floral notes such as magnolia and honeysuckle.
This is one of Spain's best white grape varieties. The vine grows horizontally and has a vigorous trunk, while bunches are small to medium-size with a very short stalk. It is usually used alone, in single varietal wines. It produces glyceric, smooth and highly aromatic wines with plenty of body. Good acidity and a characteristic bitter touch.
Also known as 'Viura', it is an intensely aromatic variety which has a structured palate with light astringent notes. Depending on the area, the bouquet can vary from fruit (citrus) to minerals, to undergrowth... In Murcia it is the principal white variety used for aromatic young wines.
In the past, this variety was considered to be a neutral grape, without a marked aroma or flavour. Today, thanks to the use of moderated fermentation techniques, greater benefit has been made of the variety, giving rise to frank, fresh and easy-to-drink wines with a fruity aroma, although slightly lacking in acidity.
This is the most popular and widespread white grape variety in the world. Subtle, with a fruity bouquet (apple, melon, guava), Chardonnay wines can be extremely complex, expressing the character of the particular terroir from which they come.
SMALL GRAIN MUSCAT
A white variety with an intense muscatel bouquet, which is the preferred choice for making natural sweet and fortified wines. The bunches are medium-sized with small grapes, which should be picked when they are on the verge of over-ripening, thus allowing the grape to express its full potential.