HISTORY AND CULTURE
JUMILLA WINE ROUTE
The Jumilla Route runs across the north-west of the Region of Murcia, set at the meeting point of La Mancha, Andalusia and Valencia.
In Jumilla you can find traces of the history and art of all the civilisations that have lived on the Mediterranean. The city which the Arabs called “the strength of wine” is a maze of emblazoned streets crowned by an imposing fifteenth-century castle, symbol of the city and accessible from the pathway of the Subidor, from which you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views over the town.
Jumilla’s long wine-growing tradition dates from the Romanisation of Hispania, although remains have been found in archaeological digs of vines cultivated 5,000 years ago. However, it was not until the mid-nineteenth century when after the plague of phylloxera that devastated large swathes of Europe, the wine-growing economy took root in Jumilla, which considerably increased the plantation and exportation of vines.
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An elegant wine thanks to the Monastrell grape variety
The wines of the Jumilla D.O. are based on the Monastrell variety which represents over 80% of the surface area under cultivation. This variety produces powerful and expressive wines, with shades of violet and a fullness very difficult to better.
From the 1990s on the Monastrell grape has been producing a generation of elegant wines, with Jumilla now an up-and-coming wine. The rosés and reds made mainly from Monastrell are characterised by fruitiness, intense colour and strength. The whites made from Macabeo grapes are clear and bright and particularly fresh.
Jumilla, a place of ancient secrets
Over 20 quality establishments make up the Jumilla Wine Route: hotels, wineries where you can take a snack among the barrels, wine shops, places for the meeting of minds and debate on the universe of wine, restaurants where you can sample the local food, etc. The route offers a host of activities all the year round: tasting courses, visits to vineyards, the Wine Cavalcade, etc.
A Castle that dominates the city
Any lover of history and culture will find lots to interest them in Jumilla: the Castle (fifteenth century), marked by the mix of cultures down the centuries, dominates the city from the heights; the Mayor de Santiago church (fifteenth century), with Gothic vault and a magnificent sixteenth-century altarpiece, was declared a national monument in 1931; the Former Council Palace dating from the sixteenth century, built in Renaissance style, which houses the Jerónimo Molina Municipal Archaeology Museum; the Plaza de Arriba, the square through which all the political and economic life of the city passed in the sixteenth century; the Casón (fifth century), late Roman funerary museum, the best conserved in Europe and one of the best in the Roman world; the Vico Theatre (nineteenth-century); the Franciscan convent of Santa Ana del Monte, set on the hill of the same name; cave paintings and an archaeological site with fossil footprints dating from the Late Miocene in the Sierra de la Pedrera mountains. You can also visit the Iberian village of Coimbra del Barranco Ancho in the Santa Ana mountains.
Easter week at Jumilla, Festival of National Tourism Interest
Here Easter Week is particularly splendid for its tradition, artistic splendour, colour, devotion and more than four centuries of processions, declared of National Tourism Interest. Also the festival held in honour of Our Patron Saint the Virgin of the Assumption, celebrated in August. Other interesting events are the Harvest Festival, culminating in the great Wine Cavalcade; the National “City of Jumilla” Folklore Festival and the Festival of Moors and Christians.
Food that combines Mediterranean and Manchego influences
Jumilla cuisine is clearly influenced by both Mediterranean and Manchego styles, as you would expect from its geographical location and climate.
Its best-known dishes are Jumilla-style gazpachos, rice with rabbit, meatballs, fried kid with garlic, fried goat’s cheese with tomato, “trigoentero”, potato pasties, “gachamiga” and “motiriguelo”.
Among traditional desserts are “sequillos”, “pirusas”, “critóbalas” and “rollos de vino y de amor” (literally rolls of wine and love), accompanied by a sweet Monastrell.
A place with an enormous wealth of plants and landscapes
The area is cleft by mountain ranges with a huge range of plants and landscapes. Among them is the Sierra del Carche mountain range, declared a Regional Park. This is where the El Carche Route was first planned, and with its fellow mountain routes of Santa Ana, La Pedrera and La Cingla, it provides a fine selection of landscapes and activities. Paragliding, climbing, hang gliding, caving and the GR7 long distance footpath, coming from northern Spain and crossing the entire eastern side of the country.
The Route also offers two other very important activities: Music among the Wines and the Gastronomy Seminars. Music among the Wines takes place every weekend from mid-May until late July at a different Route winery every week. After your visit you can enjoy a concert of a range of music (Classical, Jazz, Flamenco, Swing, Singer-Songwriter, Boleros, Pop etc.) put on by local groups or musicians, and during or after the concerts you can sample the local cuisine without having to leave the winery. Other significant facts: Music among the Wines has received a Special Mention in the Wine Routes of Spain’s first Wine Tourism Awards, and every year, the Route awards a gold decoration to famous Jumilla journalists or personalities. Gastronomic Seminars take place at weekends in November, when you can enjoy typical Jumilla menus in restaurants along the route or traditional Jumilla tapas on the Route of Stew in the route’s associated wine bars, wine shops and restaurants.
HOW TO GET THERE
Jumilla is set in the upper region of Murcia, 68 km from the region’s capital
Travelling from Madrid, take the A-3 Motorway towards Valencia, turning off at exit 177 for Albacete. Continue along the A-31 and take exit 253 towards Murcia / Albacete. Follow the A-30 and turn off at exit 322 for Jumilla.
Travelling from Valencia, take the A-7 (from l’Alcudia de Crespins, which becomes the A-35) to Font de la Figuera, then continue along the A-33 to Yecla / Jumilla (former N-344)
From Alicante follow the A-31 towards Elda, taking the exit signposted Monóvar/El Pinós and follow the C-3213 towards Jumilla.
From Murcia by the A-30 towards Madrid, turning off at exit 365 for Jumilla and continuing along the A-33 to Jumilla.