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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Do You Know Where the Largest Vineyard in the World is?
Saturday, June 8, 2024 @ 11:29 AM


The region of Castilla La Mancha in Spain is the largest wine region in the world with around 500,000 hectares of vineyards within its area of production, of which only about 165,000 are able to produce wines with "designation of origin D.O”, it is one of the most important vineyards in Europe with DO. It represents 50% of all vineyards in Spain, 14% of all vineyards in Europe and 7% of all vineyards in the world.

La Mancha is an ideal area for growing grapes because the yield per hectare is not very high and is of premium quality. In addition, the health of their vines is extraordinary due to the long hours of sunshine they receive and their great ripening cycle.

Moreover, the versatility of their land has enabled them to introduce a vast variety of grapes from around the world without any problems, complementing the indigenous grapes Airen and Tempranillo, whose quality has enabled sales to grow steadily in recent years. 

La Mancha is a vast expanse of land that has a flat terrain, without great heights and with beautiful red Miocene sediments of limestone structure. Their temperatures are extreme due to its continental climate, ranging from the winter cold of -15 º to a stifling 45º during summer. Dryness is one of its most distinct characteristics, since its micro-climate prevents the entry of moist winds, presenting a low rainfall (300 to 400 mm per year), thus La Mancha is primarily dryland farming dependant on rainfall, although recent restructuring plans has expanded the number of drip irrigation farms. Moreover, La Mancha has more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year to sear their grapes; hence it offers the best fruit which is bought mainly by the French after supplying national demand.

Although the documented origins of vineyards in La Mancha are dated to XII-XIII centuries after it repopulated in the times of Reconquista, some would argue that the vines from La Mancha date back to the Roman times. However, the cultivation of vineyards in La Mancha really started to expand around 1940, due to the start-up of many wine producers throughout the region. The wine is also the main economic activity of the municipalities of this región. These wines are the King of Spain’s favourite, originally the Crown of Spain had the first railway track built between Madrid and Ciudad Real just so the King could have a constant supply of wine.

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