Join the #worldwinetravel writers as they complete their tour of Spain with a penultimate stop at the wine region of Castilla la Mancha.
You may not have heard of wines from the region of La Mancha but have probably heard of Don Quixote, the famous Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes about a man in search of chivalry.
La Mancha refers to the region south of Madrid. It is derived from manxa, the Moorish word for parched earth.
Don Quixote hailed from this hot, arid region, but the wine he may have drunk in the 16th century is vastly different from the wine now produced in this designated appellation.
When Spain joined the European Union in 1986, modern winemaking techniques flowed into the country and international grape varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, followed in the late 1990s.
The result has been inexpensive wines, and a large production of wine, a significant portion of which is distilled into brandy.
Themes from Don Quixote, the novel
Don Quixote is of referred to as the first modern novel. The word quixotic derives from this novel. Per the dictionary, it means "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." Overarching themes from this classic tome include:
- Unwillingness to let chivalry die
- Embracing life's end
- Mean aristocrats vs kinder, poorer folk
Themes from the Castilla la Mancha wine region
Meanwhile the wines of the Castilla la Mancha region are quixotic in these ways:
- Hot, searing summers and long, cold winters that dip below freezing
- Grows more than half of all the grapes in Spain
- The most widely planted white varietal is Airen, but it is not the most popular grape or widely respected
- The red grapes are primarily blends of any of the following varietals: Temperanillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Garnacha, Alicante, Bouschet, Monastrell, Syrah, Bobal
- Claims 9 DO (Denominación de Origen) appellations, including Europe's largest officially delimited wine zone, La Mancha
- Home to 8 Vino de Pago estates, the highest appellation status in Spain
Learn more about the region from:
- Wine Folly
- Janice Robinson
- Wine Searcher
- The World Wine Travel writers on Twitter on November 27, 2021 at 8am PST/ 11am EST. Follow #worldwinetravel and join the conversation!
Deep dive with #worldwinetravel
If you would like to participate in our virtual Spanish wine exploration, please comment below or post in the Facebook event with your blog post title and blog name by end of day, Sunday, November 21, 2021.
Between Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27, 8am PT/11am ET, publish your post. Include #worldwinetravel in the title and add the provided preliminary HTML to link to other particpants' posts.
On Saturday, November 27, join the Twitter chat at 8am PT/ 11am ET by using the #worldwinetravel hashtag.
Read, comment, and share each other's posts on the wines of Castilla la Mancha.
Add the final HTML to your post that includes to links to everyone's published posts.
Until then, I hope you enjoy exploring and drinking the wine from this unique Spanish wine region. May the man or wine of la Mancha be with you!