In Clariano the vineyards are planted in terraces at height between 524 and 2,132 feet (160 and 650 metres), in Moscatel and Valentino this is 328-1,312 feet (100-400 metres). Generally there is underlying chalk with a top covering of a red-brown loam with alluvial deposits in the river valleys. The top soil in Alto Turia is more sandy, while in Valentino the top soil is perhaps both looser and thicker. The climate is clearly Mediterranean though with continental Valencia Red Wineinfluences in Alto Turia, where the summers are hotter, the winters colder, and where there is less rainfall than in the sub-areas closer to the coast. There are also localised microclimates which mainly result in greater warmth from the sun. It is remarkable that there are such marked differences between daytime and night-time temperatures throughout the Levante.

There are twelve varieties of grapes that may be used in the Valencia DO. Some are recommended, others merely tolerated. Highly recommended are the white Macabeo, Malvasía, Merseguera, Moscatel de Alejandría, Pedro Ximénez, and Planta Fina de Pedralba and the blue Garnacha, Monastrell, Tempranillo, and Tintorera. Equally permissible are the white Planta Nova and Tortosi and blue Forcayat. Valencia produces countless different Spanish wines with local names and the descriptions of blanco, rosado, tinto, espumoso, licoroso, rancio, moscatel dulce, and moscatel licoroso. Most of these Spanish wines are of the vinos jovenes type, but you will find some Crianzas. It is a shame to realise that Valencia probably possesses the most advanced wine-making equipment and laboratories for analysing wine but that customers generally prefer the cheapest and most simple of wines. This is an enormous brake on the movement towards better quality.


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