Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
One of Murcia’s three major wine-producing areas will be celebrating its inaugural wine and wine-tourism fair this month. Jumilla’s “Feria del Vino y del Enoturismo” is scheduled to run from 25 to 27 November, offering visitors a special program of wine tastings, gastronomy, music and dance, and children’s activities.
According to the organisers, one of the main aims of the fair is to showcase what makes Jumilla such an exceptional “designation of origin” wine area, “full of experiences and wines to share”. To that end, 21 wineries will be presenting their wines, including innovations from the 2022 vintage, and wine tourism activities due to take place throughout the year in the DOP Jumilla area.
In addition, establishments that belong to the Jumilla Wine Route will be offering tapas and other culinary menus during the fair, as part of the 16th edition of “Gastronomy Days” (“Jornadas Gastronómicas”), which also ends on 27 November.
Locals always recommend that visitors try their “gazpacho jumillano”, which is prepared with unfermented flour cake, rabbit, hare or partridge, and mountain snails.
As for a taste of culture, Jumilla Castle has been declared a National Monument and offers stunning views of the Camino del Subidor.
Bullas Wine Route
Another of Murcia’s designation of origin areas (the third is Yecla), Bullas also has a significant winemaking history, with more than 200 traditional wineries as well as a Wine Museum. The area has been involved in vine cultivation since Roman Empire times, and its vineyards and wineries still provide insight into venerable regional traditions.
In addition to sampling quality wines, such as the Monastrell red, visitors can also enjoy picturesque vineyard landscapes and heritage buildings linked to the wine culture.
Landscapes dotted with vineyards, such as Carrascalejo, are incorporated into the “North-Western Greenway” and are ideal for hiking. The natural waterfall at Usero is popular for taking a dip, and Molino de Abajo is home to the archaeological remains of a Roman town from the first century BCE.
Held on the first Sunday of every month, the “El Zacatín” street market offers traditional artisanal goods, and visitors can take part in treading the grapes and sampling the cuisine at festivals including the Virgen del Rosario and the Fiesta del Vino. Tasting sessions offer products such as cured goat’s cheese to accompany the local wines.
According to Spain’s official tourism website, “Bullas is traditionally a red wine region, but its white and rosé wines are also of excellent quality. The red grape variety called Monastrell is very characteristic of Murcia and is the native variety of its designation of origin. With compact bunches of small grapes, it has a very intense blue-violet colour. Its colour, bouquet, taste and complexity give these wines their character, as well as properties that are beneficial for our health.”
Yecla Wine Route
Yecla’s historical wine traditions are complemented by modernised wineries, giving the designation of origin area’s wines a wonderfully robust and creative character.
A must-visit attraction during any excursion to Yecla is the Basilica de la Purísima, which is neoclassical in style and is highlighted by an iconic blue and white dome. Also popular is the Monte Arabí route, one of the most “Instagrammable” settings in the Murcia region.
Murcia’s Wine Bus tours continue this month and until December.
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