14 Oct Almansa: border between “La Meseta Central” and the mediterranean sea with unique wines
The town of Almansa and its surroundings mark an imaginary line that makes both its grapes and its wines special within our Denomination of Origin Almansa.
A natural “coupage” of Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera within the crossroads between two different areas: the Mediterranean Sea and the continental area of the plateau, at an altitude of 700-900 metres above sea level. All this is the perfect cocktail for the population of Almansa and its surroundings to have different peculiarities to those of other areas of our DO Almansa.
Almansa accounts for 29% of the total production area of our Denomination of Origin and has a total of 2,800 hectares of land (compared to the 9,800 hectares of vineyards within the entire DO Almansa production area). Thanks to the lower altitude than the rest of the DO Almansa, which maintains the natural acidity of the wines, it is the soils that also mark their essence.
The Almansa vineyards also have limestone, stony, sandy-loam and slightly clayey soils. In general, these are very poor soils in which only cereal crops, almond trees, olive groves and, of course, vineyards can be seen. All this makes them ideal for the Mediterranean Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera to grow in magnificent conditions at a lower altitude than in the rest of the production area.
As far as white grapes are concerned, Almansa has always been an excellent location for their cultivation, as the soils are not very productive (ideal for varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, etc…) In addition, we have plenty of sunshine during spring and summer days with cold nights that maintain the natural acidity of the grapes, which means that the conditions are ideal for making white wines of very high quality that are well-balanced both in the mouth and in their aromas.
In this context, Almansa’s thermal contrast is also ideal for its development. The very hot and dry days during the summer are contrasted with the cold nights, which makes the end of the ripening process of our grapes very slow and gradual. All this increases the natural concentration of the colour and maintaining a good acidity, while always having a good ripeness, obtaining very rounded wines that are also complex on the palate. We should not forget that springs are also usually somewhat cool and rainy, which helps the vines to sprout and the optimum development of the varieties in the area.
Juan Pablo Cantos, winemaker from Almansa, has particularly highlighted the poor soil type which “gives Almansa an advantage over other areas such as La Mancha, Manchuela or Villarrobledo, where the soils are usually more fertile and trellis production is much higher”. Cantos is clear about this: Monastrell, together with Garnacha Tintorera, are the “future” of wine for the Almansa area, and a clear differentiating element so that these wines continue to be recognised in many countries around the world.