Almost two-thirds of Spain’s vineyards are on these arid plains. Until just a decade or two ago, it was an internationally accepted dictum that little of quality was made here.
How wrong that was. Many of Spain’s top Vinos de Pago (such as Dominio de Valdepusa, Finca Elez, Dehesa de Carrizal and Pago Guijoso) are found in this area. The northern portion of the Meseta pitches its dry plateau to the edges of the Central and Iberian mountain ranges; the vineyards might be hot and dry, but they often lie at high altitudes, and night time temperatures can be cool as a result.
The Castilla–La Mancha region is the Midi of Spain, and as with France’s Midi, there is a focus on single varietals.
Within this larger region is the large DO La Mancha, though nearly half of the vineyards within the DO aren’t allowed to use the DO on their label. It speaks well of the DO rules that merely being from an area doesn’t guarantee a producer its DO status. They must also comply with strict quality measures.
Denominations of origin:
Vino de Castilla
Vinos de la Tierra
VT Castilla covers all the territory of the Community of Castilla-La Mancha. This is the region to come to for great value reds. It also produces several high-end wines that wouldn’t be out of place on a table of wines from more prestigious regions. Ultimately, it comes down to the individual winery as much as the region they find themselves in.
Denominacion de Origen
Méntrida, an old but little-known winemaking area, lies in the northwest of the province of Toledo. The ring of mountains to the south of Madrid are higher altitude than the plains to the south, and as such have many pockets of premium vines planted throughout.
Single varietals, relatively unusual across Spain, predominate here. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Garnacha and Syrah are all represented by fine examples of wines. Several of the Vino de Pago (Single Estate) producers may be found in this region.
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