Just a short drive from the Orihuela Costa, the Murcia region is home to three DO wines, which are wines that comply to various conditions for production, these wines are Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla.
Vines are said to have been introduced to the region by the Phoenicians in ancient times. Murcia’s winemaking reputation has been somewhat inconsistent through the centuries. During Roman times, demand was high, and then again in latter half of the 19th Century, when French vineyards were destroyed by a louse and the growers there turned to other European producers, Murcia being one of the obvious choices – as the conditions there suit the production of the Monastrell grape, which yields wines with high tannins and deep colour.
However after that the standard of the wine in the region slipped for a long time, they were producing quantity not quality. However nowadays there are producers who have experimented with winemaking techniques and grape varieties and have chosen to focus on quality.
Apart from Monastrell, other notable grape varieties grown in Murcia include Tempranillo,Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah for reds and Macabeo, Airen and Merseguera for whites.
Many bodegas and vineyards are open to the public, and offer guided tours where you can find out every detail involved in the wine making process, and most of these tours will end with a wine tasting where you can savour the delicious fruits of their labour yourselves. This website; in English contains a great deal of information on the Jumilla area.
There are some wine tasting tours that look like wonderful days out and you can find out more information about them here:
Happy wine tasting!