27 Oct The twelve DO Almansa wineries
The Almansa Denominación de Origen was established in 1966 and stretches eastwards in Albacete province, encompassing 8 boroughs, with 7,600 hectares (some 19,000 acres) under vine. It currently consists of 750 winegrowers and twelve wineries that, over the course of 2015, produced 62,553 hectolitres (1,652,475 US gallons) of wine, of which around 80% was sold in the international market.
Long-established family wineries work in tandem with the more recently formed cooperatives to continue the development of the wines and the reputation for quality of the Almansa DO.
The locality of Almansa itself is home to Bodegas Piqueras and the various grape varieties that go into the making of its Castillo de Almansa and Valcanto wines; Bodegas Virgen de Belén has the Mirador and Señorío de Almansa and Cañada de Belén lines; Hacienda ‘El Espino’ produces the 1707 range; Bodegas Atalaya makes the Laya, Alaya Tierra and La Atalaya del Camino wines; Bodegas Almanseñas produces the oak-aged Adaras Reserva, the younger style Calizo and the intermediate crianzas La Huella and Parcela; and Bodegas Matamangos’ wines are Matamangos Mod and Calx.
Nearby Higueruela is where Bodegas Cano grows the different grape varieties that make up its Cañada del Soto and 1860 wines, and the Santa Quiteria de Higueruela Cooperative produces its Altitud and Tintoralba wines. Bodegas El Tanino, with its 1752 range, is to be found in Hoya-Gonzalo. The Santa Cruz Cooperative is in Alpera, where it produces its Santa Cruz de Alpera, Albarroble and Rupestre Alpera wines. Finally, Bonete is home to Bodega Dehesa El Carrascal and the grapes that go into the making of their Tudon’s and Dulcemar wines.
These wineries are notable for the way they work together, supporting each other, and year on year they harvest new national and international awards for the excellence of their wines and the quality of their grapes. At present the emphasis is on three grape varieties: Garnacha Tintorera, which provides excellent structure, accounts for 60% of the area under vine; Monastrell, a native variety, makes up 13% of production; and Syrah, which has adapted particularly well to this area, produces excellent spicy wines.