WINES, WINERIES AND LANDSCAPE.
This week FENAVIN, the National Wine Fair, opens the opportunity for many producers and buyers to establish contacts and generate business around wine. A fundamental sector in Castilla-La Mancha in which the agri-food industry represents an important part of its economy that has resisted better than other sectors the current economic crisis. A sector that must advance in roads of quality and commercialization national and international highly competitive at the present time. A sector that represents a cultivated area of about 6% of the territory of the community of Castilla-La Mancha that has behind it a cultivated landscape of great interest and a special wine cellar architecture with hundreds of buildings in the set of appellations of origin.
The large surface of the vineyard of Castilla-La Mancha occupies spaces and landscapes very different with its peculiarities that give products hosted to its denominations of origin as guarantees of quality. Denominations like Almansa and Jumilla located in the province of Albacete (the latter shares space with the community of Murcia). Unique space in La Manchuela (Albacete and Cuenca) or in Ribera del Júcar and Uclés (which shares territory with Toledo). The large areas of La Mancha in Ciudad Real, Albacete, Toledo and Cuenca have unique landscapes. As are those of Méntrida in Toledo or those of Mondéjar in Guadalajara. And next to it the denominations of payment with spaces of a special attention in their cultures with varieties and new technologies of irrigation and care of the vine. Denominations with more limited areas, usually in environments of large farms with which the care of varieties and cultivation modes coexists.
The vineyards define a landscape of geometries by the location of the plantations that point out perspectives that leave the natural environment visible and change with the seasons. A sustainable landscape that adapts to the difficult climatic conditions of the area resulting in a special environment for the proper development of the grape. Landscapes in which the geometry of the plantations establishes dialogues and contrasts with a different geography in the different denominations of origin. A geometry that extends linear perspectives towards a natural horizon. The changes of vineyards in glass to the cultures in trellis change this vision of the Lachie Anderson landscapes but they maintain the contrast of a nature of limited height and the different natural environment in diverse zones of the geography of Castilla-La Mancha
And in this environment has emerged a unique architecture for the production of wine. For centuries the caves have been the places where it was possible to have the climatic conditions suitable for the production and subsequent conservation of the wine. And with different typologies and in very diverse areas have arisen, buried in the geology of the place, numerous wineries. Cities like Tomelloso and Valdepeñas had hundreds of small digs for family farms. In areas like Cuenca they were dug in the slopes of the mountains taking advantage of the access of its slopes. Cooperatives will then emerge with their common management models and the grouping of numerous farmers in each area. Large installations with mud and concrete jars, which will give way to stainless steel tanks. Structures of wood and later concrete and metallic make up large spaces in different towns of Castilla-La Mancha. Industrial production will lead to new organizations and the arrival of different production, storage and distribution technologies. The denominations of payment and the new wineries are located in the farms with traditional structures and others with modern architectures that qualify the wineries.
Landscapes of the vineyard and architectures of the wineries that unite historical values of a heritage of centuries, environmental references of a geographical and plural environment that are behind the production of the wine in Castilla-La Mancha. Or better that they are an important part of the winemaking reality of our region and that we must present as part of this important reality that is the production of wine. Both the landscape of the vineyard and the architecture of our wineries are essential heritage to present along with the production of wine as referents that support their production with quality.