Yecla: A Unique Wine Region in Southeastern Spain

Geography, Soil and Climate
Yecla's vineyards are planted on hills that range from about 1,300 to 2,600 feet in height.  The DO's climate, while considered to be continental, is tempered somewhat by its southeastern location.   The region's temperatures range from about 23 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 102 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months.  Rainfall averages about 12 inches per year.  Most rainstorms occur in the spring and fall months.  Yecla is known for its heavy, if rare, downpours.

Yecla's soils lie on limestone bedrock.  In most areas, there is a thick layer of subsoil topped by sandy or silty topsoil.  Some vineyards are planted on stony topsoil, while the topsoils of other vineyards contain clay or loam.  Typically, Yecla's soils are poor, with low nitrogen levels.

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The Yecla DO includes two sub-regions, Campo Arriba and Campo Abajo.  Campo Arriba lies north of the city of Yecla.  This sub-region's vineyards lie at higher elevations than those of Campo Abajo.  Campo Arriba is best known for its red wines, while more white wine grapes are grown in Campo Abajo.

Yecla Grape Varieties
In spite of the region's small size, Yecla winemakers produce a wide variety of wines.  Yecla winemakers don't confine themselves to still whites, rosados and reds; they also make sparkling and fortified wines.  About 15 percent of Yecla's wines are rosados (rosés).

White grapes planted in Yecla include airén, merseguera and macabeo.  Yecla's red wines are better known, and most of these are made from monastrell grapes.  Approximately 85 percent of Yecla's vineyards are planted in monastrell.  Garnacha tinta and garnacha tintorera are also planted here, and some winemakers have recently been experimenting with syrah grapes.

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.

Visiting Yecla Wineries
While the Yecla DO Web site lists just 11 wineries, don't let that small number keep you away.  There's a lot to do and see in this congenial part of Spain.  While you're taking in cave paintings at Monte Arabí, plan a wine tasting break at one of Yecla's wineries.