Yecla wines are known for their distinctive flavour and exquisite aroma. This has led the municipality, which is located in the extreme north of the province of Murcia, to obtain recognition beyond the borders of Spain. It is distinguished by the high quality of its wines.
Yecla, which maintained important economic activity since Roman times with the cultivation of the vine, decidedly supported agricultural activity in the mid-19th century. It had been developing fruit trees and olive trees, which strongly boosted its vineyards.
The initial acceptance of the quality of Yecla wines led to the accelerated development of the winemaking activity and the modernization of wineries in the city.
The success focused on the cultivated grape variety, typical of warm areas, which found ideal conditions in the southeast of Spain.
The very particular Monastrell grape requires warm weather and sunshine.
Bunches of the Monastrell grape are generally conical and compact, with medium-sized round berries, bluish or black in colour, and very juicy. With rather late budding and very late maturity, it is a very sweet grape that produces a powerful and high-quality intense red wine.
The Monastrell grapes have a high content of tannins—higher in years with high temperatures. This wine is sweetened during its stay in barrels.
Denomination of Origin
The quality of the wine produced led to the assignment of the Denomination of Origin in 1975, and its corresponding regulations were approved. It should be noted that the Denomination of Origin refers only to land in the municipality of Yecla.
Subsequently, progress was made in the modernization of facilities in wineries and in cooperatives incorporating new technologies, with the production of high-quality wines gaining momentum.
Yecla wines are diverse but a balance is easily noticed—a deep intensity in aroma and high fruit composition. The Denomination of Origin allows for a variety of wines, although basically red wines are produced based on the Monastrell grape, alone or in combination with other authorized ones. Furthermore, varietals of Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot are produced.
The Yecla Denomination of Origin has a Regulatory Council that certifies the authenticity of the wines produced in the wineries assigned, recognized, and protected by this denomination. This council also controls and protects the activity of growing the vine, including the harvest. Additionally, it supervises the winemaking and aging phases. Just as important, it promotes the planting of the Monastrell grape.
An international wine
Today, the crops of the Denomination of Origin in Yecla cover over 7,200 hectares of protected vineyard that are in the hands of approximately 1,600 winegrowers, who carry out the harvest between September and October. The production of grapes is approximately 25 million kilos, and of the total production of bottled wines, approximately 95% goes to export.
The wines are sent to more than 40 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, China, Japan, France, Canada, the United States, Australia, Singapore, etc. The 20% that is distributed in the national market is distributed mainly in Madrid, Valencia, Catalonia, the Basque Country, and, of course, Murcia.