03 Aug Environmental conditions of D.O. Almansa
Located in the east portion of the Castile-La Mancha province of Albacete is the Designation of Origen Almansa, on a high plateau positioned between the provinces of Valencia, Alicante and Murcia. This curious territorial location makes the climate in the area take on eastern and La Mancha features, and incorporates them into the ageing of grapes. Therefore, we can conclude that this is a semi-arid- Mediterranean-continental climate characterised by having hot summers, with temperatures reaching up to 40ºC, and long, cold winters with severe frosts and temperatures down to -10ºC during the coldest periods. Rains are scarce in the area, favouring the semi-arid nature of the land.
Northwest winds dominate, with moderate intensity. The predominant period of wind gusts is in autumn, winter and spring (until April-May), reaching the strongest gusts of up to 100 km / h in autumn. During the summer, the easterly winds take centre stage, which tend to be drier and contribute to increased evaporation and decreased humidity produced during this time of year.
The soils are calcareous and poor in organic matter, with a sandy texture and little depth. These soil characteristics make D.O. Almansa wines full-bodied, vintage, of high alcohol level and dry.
With climate change accelerating, the wine industry needs to adapt and find solutions to future problems. Being a form of traditional cultivation, adapted to Mediterranean conditions, high temperatures and drought, in the case of D.O. Almansa, the risks that producers and farmers are mostly concerned about are hailstorms and late frosts, and to a lesser extent because of their experience with them, drought and heat waves.
Therefore, it becomes a challenge to be able to take further action to mitigate or offset these climate changes that are already underway, and are not likely to stop occurring. Likewise, in the next hundred years significant changes are expected to happen in the wine geography of our country. Because of their conditions, the coastal and northwest regions have a greater capacity to adapt to change than others, as the area in which the D.O. Almansa lies.
With all this, the Designation of Origin Almansa’s challenges broaden to achieve crops to adapt to future changes considering those environmental features already presented, and which make the wines of the region so unique.