Spain - Jumilla
Jumilla extends over the north of the region of Murcia in south east Spain. There are currently 32,000 ha currently under vines in Jumilla with around 3,000 grape growers registered. Monastrell accounts for 80% of the vineyard plantings. Jumilla DO is one of the oldest in Spain having acquired its official status in 1966.
The region, like La Mancha, is sunny receiving more than 3000 hours of sunshine a year, and the climate arid – one of the driest wine areas of Spain. Summers are hot exceeding temperatures of 40º, winters are very cold and the growing season also has very marked temperature differences between night and day which benefits the cultivation of a great quality grapes.
The DO is characterised by wide valleys and plateaus with mountains in the background. It is a transition zone between the Mediterranean coastal area and the high central plateau of Castile-La Mancha so the altitude of the vineyards rise from 400 to 800m.
During the outbreak of the phylloxera in the 19th century the region surprisingly escaped contamination and the vines were never regrafted onto resistant rootstock. However, the phylloxera unexpectedly struck in 1989, devastating the vineyards and reducing production by 60% over the next five years. Replanting and grafting was slow and expensive but allowed the region to adopt the new methods of grape growing and wine making that were already proving successful in the neighbouring DOs of Alicante and Almansa.