The grape harvest in the Jumilla PDO reaches its peak well into September, when the Monastrell grapes grown on dry land reach their optimum ripening point in a large part of the Protected Designation of Origin, founded in 1966.
As announced last August, the first area to be harvested was the southern part, where white and early red varieties were harvested first, followed by the rest of the red varieties. Garnacha, Petit, Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha Tintorera, Syrah and, of course, Monastrell are already the protagonists of this month of September in their different elaborations.
The diversity of soils, climates and terroirs in the Jumilla PDO has led to a harvest that began in the second week of August and will last until the beginning of November, making the Jumilla PDO one of the longest harvests in Europe.
After the halfway point of the harvest in Jumilla, most of the varietals have already been harvested and the Monastrell grapes are being harvested; in the middle areas of the Jumilla PDO many vines are awaiting their moment next week, and it is expected that the highest areas will start harvesting the Monastrell mainly the following week, while the other varieties are beginning to enter the winery at a slower pace.
As expected, the quality of the grapes is good and they are entering the winery in good health, although it is true that a small drop in production has been announced with respect to last year.
WINE TOURISM AMONG THE VINEYARDS
During these days the municipalities that make up the Jumilla PDO are buzzing with tractors and trailers loaded with grapes, and you can already smell the aroma of the first must fermenting. September and October are magical months in the Jumilla PDO, to get to know first hand the grape harvest and discover the process the grapes go through in the winery. In fact, many wineries that are members of the Jumilla Wine Route organise activities for everyone around the grape harvest.
At the beginning of November, when the harvest is finishing in the northern area of the Jumilla PDO, we will already have wine from those areas that began to harvest at the end of August, but no one doubts that, from this week until the end of the harvest, the Monastrell is the undisputed protagonist, and the main concern of winegrowers and wineries.
The Jumilla Protected Designation of Origin has a winemaking tradition that dates back to the remains of vitis vinifera – together with utensils and archaeological remains found in Jumilla dating back to 3,000 B.C., the oldest in Europe.
The production area is delimited, on the one hand, by the extreme south-east of the province of Albacete, which includes the municipalities of Montealegre del Castillo, Fuente Álamo, Ontur, Hellín, Albatana and Tobarra; on the other hand, by the north of the province of Murcia, with the municipality of Jumilla.
The area is characterised by large valleys criss-crossed by mountain ranges of up to 1,380 m in height. A total of 22,800 hectares of vineyards, mostly unirrigated, goblet-grown, and located on predominantly limestone soils, at altitudes varying between 320 and 900 metres.
The climate in this area is continental with Mediterranean influence. The low rainfall of barely 300 mm per year and the more than 3,000 hours of sunshine mean that pests and diseases are rare, which means that a high percentage of organic cultivation is possible.
Five types of wine are produced in the Jumilla PDO: red, rosé, white, sweet and liqueur wines, and the production of native varieties is a priority. The organic Monastrell grape is the most widely grown variety in this Protected Designation of Origin ‘http://vinosdejumilla.org‘.