Wine Routes of Murcia
There are 3 main areas for wine production in Murcia, they are, in order of output – Jumilla, Bullas and Yecla. Wine is a very important part of Murcia cuisine and Murcian wines are not only highly acclaimed throughout Spain but are becoming more widely available in the rest of Europe and the UK..
The Jumilla wine-growing region is located inland in the north-eastern area of Murcia. The vineyards are found on a high plateau surrounded by rugged mountains.
The area was established more than 2000 years. The wines of the Jumilla D.O. are based on the Monastrell variety which represents over 80% of the surface area under cultivation. Most of the wineries in the area are located in the small town of Jumilla, which can be found at the foot of its 15th-century castle. The town contains several large bodegas that are open for tasting sessions and wine walking (staggering) tours of the town can be arranged at the tourist office.
Bullas is located in the north-western area of Murcia. Some of the oldest vineyards in Spain are located in Bullas with evidence of wine production here dating back to 800BC and vines being in the location at 3000BC. In the town centre alone you can still find the buildings or traces of over 200 traditional wineries, most built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Now the local wineries have succeeded in combining modern techniques and traditional methods resulting in superb quality.
There are several types of grapes in Bullas. By far the most popular is the Monastrell (80%) with the remainder a mixture of Tempranillo, Macabeo and Airén. This results in an excellent range or reds, whites, rose and clarets. Other varieties such as Cabernet- Sauvignon, Sirah, Merlot and Grenache are also producing wine in smaller volumes.
In Bullas a wine museum has opened as well as a signposted wine route and a number of the old cellars are open to the public.
Yecla is located to the north of Jumilla on a slightly higher plateau. Famous through the centuries for wine, it now hosts the furniture manufacturing centre for the region of Murcia.
Until fifteen years ago, the name Yecla, was synonymous with a robust wine of high alcoholic content. This was because of the arid climate, and old fashioned production techniques. With today’s production techniques however, Yecla wine has achieved spectacular results while still being well priced.
Wine routes are just beginning to emerge as the rest of Europe “discovers” the wonderful wines of Murcia.