Spain - La Mancha
La Mancha with over 190,000ha of vines is the largest continuous vine-growing area in the world (other larger regions are split). 22,000 grape-growers and over 300 wineries are registered with the DO, which was formally created in 1976.
Though vines had been planted since Roman times wine production took off in the 1940s due to the setting up of numerous cooperatives in the region. Viticulture now is the main economic activity of the region
The climate is continental (long hot summers and cold winters) and ranges from extremes of -15°C in winter to 45°C in summer. Annual rainfall is low about 12-16 inches and there is about 3000 hours of sunlight per year.
The versatility of the land enables a vast variety of grapes to thrive without problem. Soils are very homogeneous throughout the region and tends to be flat – reddish-brown sandy clay, poor in organic material, and rich in lime and chalk. A lime sub strata is common and are often broken to allow the roots of the vines to pass through.