The autonomia of Murcia is trying to forget its past. Here too heavy and very alcoholic wine was produced for cutting with lighter wines and here too the trade specialised for centuries in the sale of wine in bulk. In recent years however there has been a definite change in direction by a number of the serious and forward-looking bodegas. This Spanish wine is only one of the local agricultural produces and certainly not the easiest or most financially rewarding. Times change and today’s market has no demand for the heavy, alcoholic, and heady wines of Murcia. The bodegas of Jumilla DO and to a lesser extent Yecla are taking action to react to this change in the market. It was only much later that the third DO of Murcia, Bullas jumped aboard the departing train.
Yecla is a relatively small DO surrounding the town of the same name but it is actually an enclave in the much larger area of Jumilla. The smaller bodegas have been busy now for several decades with a policy of change and radical renewal.
The lack of success is not due to either the soil or the climate for these are comparable with neigh-bouring Valdepeñas: chalk with underlying clay and thick surface layer plus the same continental climate with hot summers and cold winters with large temperature range between night and day. The blue grapes used are Monastrell (80%) and Garnacha. Trials are also being carried out with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.