Valdepeñas, tucked into the southern part of La Mancha and totally surrounded by its much larger sibling, has operated entirely independently for as long as anyone can remember. Today its bodegas are fully equipped with modern winemaking technology and the focus is on red wines and generally one grape – Tempranillo. For oak aged wines only this variety is permitted though Cabernet and Garnacha can also be found in Valdepeñas.

The red wines of Valdepeñas are surprisingly soft and generously fruity thanks to a couple of key factors: a chalky layer below the surface soil offers good water retention allowing the vines to perform well when summer temperatures peak and the vineyards are located at reasonably high altitude which also favours quality.

Lower volumes and higher quality are the order of the day here. The DO regulations were updated in 2000 and slightly lower yields came into force. Red wines are offered from young wines to Gran Reserva level with a very competitive price/quality ratio compared to the better known Spanish regions further north. You can find rosé wines here as well.