Yecla: A Unique Wine Region in Southeastern Spain

Yecla is one of Spain's smallest wine regions.  Established in 1975, the Yecla DO surrounds the city that shares its name.  Like many small wine regions, Yecla has survived because of a fierce dedication to its traditions and heritage.

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Yecla lies in the southeastern province of Murcia.  The DO is surrounded by other Spanish wine regions, specifically Jumilla, and Almansa.  The city and vineyards of Yecla are ringed by a series of low mountain ranges which help to give the region its particular microclimate.

Yecla's Winemaking History
Although Yecla was founded as the city of Yakka during the Moorish occupation of Spain, winemaking predates the city by almost 1,000 years.  Local legends claim that the ancient Phoenicians brought wine grapes to Yecla, and archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a first-century wine cellar near Fuente del Pinar.  After Roman rule ended, wine production in Yecla continued, flourishing during the Moorish occupation and expanding as Spain's rulers consolidated their power.  By the reign of King Philip II, Yecla was designated as a "bodega mayor" ("major winery").

Find Yecla Referenced in this Article:

- Yecla Wines
- Bodegas Castaño

By the late 19th century, Yecla's winemaking tradition was firmly established.  Yecla's wineries produced mainly fortified wines during this period.  When phylloxera finally arrived here, some vineyards escaped devastation; even today, you'll find areas where grapevines have never been grafted onto new root stock.

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.

In the early and middle years of the 20th century, Yecla was best known for bulk wines with high alcohol content.  Yecla winemakers refused to be absorbed into one of the neighboring DO's; instead, they fought to establish their own appellation, which was granted in 1975.

Winemakers from this tiny region have big plans.  The Castaño family, owners of Bodegas Castaño, has worked tirelessly to propel the Yecla DO onto the international stage, and their efforts have paid off handsomely.  In fact, about 85 percent of Yecla's wines are exported.  Yecla is no longer one of a collection of unknown wine regions; instead, Yecla's wines are known for their quality and value.