When one thinks of Spanish wine regions, Rioja or Ribera del Duero may immediately come to mind. But Castilla-La Mancha, a region synonymous with Manchego cheese, saffron and Don Quixotic escapades, also makes exquisite wines

Castilla-La Mancha is in fact the largest continuous wine-growing region in the world, producing 50% of Spanish wine within its 460,000 hectares wine-producing area. It has a mix of Mediterranean and continental climates, resulting in typically cold winters and hot, dry summers. White grape Airen is the most commonly grown native variety here, along with Cencibel (Tempranillo) and Garnacha.

We got a taste of some of these wines during a trade visit organised by Instituto de Promoción Exterior de Castilla-La Mancha (IPEX) or the Foreign Trade Institute of Castile-La Mancha at East India Rooms, Raffles Hotel in May 2017. Ten passionate wine producers introduced the best fruits of their labour. Some highlights:

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  1. Sparkling wines from Vinedos Balmoral, a winery situated more than 1,050m above sea level in Albacete, surrounded by mountains. Choice selections like Edoné Cuvée de María are produced by the traditional method of second fermentation and ageing in the same bottle.
  2. Tavasa Destilerias’ range of Platinvm Fragrances cocktails made with fruit and floral extracts, such as No. 6 Violets and Fruits of the Forest, a billowing sky cloud of violet and wild berries essence, and the zesty pick-me-up, No. 8 Apple and Amaretto
  3. 50 Aniversario, a limited edition red Tempranillo/Graciano wine with spices, coffee and cocoa notes by Vinos Coloman
  4. Zagarron Bodegas’ Sandogal No. 1 organic white wine, made with Airen and Verdejo grapes
  5. Bodegas y Vinedos Illana’s red Casa Illana Expression Bobal, made with 100% Bobal grapes, a revived grape variety that is high in tannins and usually used as a blend

Several of these wine labels are finding their way to Singapore soon, so keep your eye out for them in stores!

(Photos: Spice in Wine, Wine & Dine)



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