Valdepeñas (wine region)
Valdepeñas (German "Valley of the Stones") is a wine-growing region in Spain with around 30,000 hectares of cultivation area and 500,000 hl annual production. It is named after the town of Valdepeñas in the southern part of the Mancha , in the vicinity of which it is located.
The ancient Romans used the area with its rolling hills to grow wine. But it was not until the middle of the 13th century, after the reconquest from the hands of the Moors , that several settlements in the valley of the Río Jabalón became a town and a wine region. Because of its great military successes against the Moors, the Order of Calatrava received large parts of the area and promoted it.
In the centuries that followed, Valdepeñas wine became widely sought after, from taverns in Madrid to royal courts. The Clarete red wine (mixed with a fifth of white wine), which was exported to South America in the mid-19th century , became famous . This development culminated in a boom around the turn of the century, 1900. The Spanish Civil War put an end to this. The concentration from small family businesses to large wineries, modern production methods and international marketing led to a new upswing from the 1980s.
The vineyards are located on south-facing slopes at a height of approx. 700 m and are protected from winds by mountain ranges. The deep chalk subsoils hold back water well. This factor is important in a drought-prone region. The predominant grape varieties are Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon ( red wine ) as well as Airén and Macabeo ( white wine ).