The harvest campaign has lasted for more than three months, starting in early August with the Syrah grape variety in the Paraje de la Cañada del Judío, in the southern part of Jumilla, and continuing until the last week of October, as always with the indigenous variety par excellence of the Jumilla PDO, the Monastrell, which was collected in the municipality of Montealegre del Castillo, the northernmost part of the Denomination of Origin.
Progress has already been made at the beginning of the harvest campaign, which the harvest was about two weeks early compared to the previous year. As every year, the southernmost part of the Jumilla PDO, in the municipality of Jumilla, began earlier than in the northern part, located in the Albacete municipalities that make up the PDO.
The 2020 harvest data confirm that there has been less grape entry in the wineries, almost 73 million kilos, due to the exhaustive control by the field inspectors on the maximum authorized yields, which guarantee the highest quality in the grapes, and, therefore, in the PDO Jumilla wines.
The weather has smiled on the Jumilla PDO, exceeding the average annual rainfall of 300 mm which, after a very hot summer, allowed a sigh of relief to the dry-planted vineyards, which account for more than 70% of the total vineyard. It has been an atypical vintage given that ‘bubble gangs’ they had to endure the hard days of work with masks to protect themselves from the pandemic, and comply with new organizational protocols.
On the other hand, viticulturists, oenologists and winemakers agree to highlight the good sanitary state in which the grapes were found and the excellent quality parameters at the time of their collection, due to the fact that, approaching the optimal maturation date of the grapes, there were no rains, but there were winds that benefited the harvest, keeping possible pests and fungi at bay. In this way, everyone agrees that the wines made in 2020 «augur a historic vintage in the Jumilla PDO».
Just 40 minutes from Murcia capital, and one hour from the city of Albacete, is one of the oldest Denominations of Origin in Spain. The Jumilla Protected Designation of Origin has a winemaking tradition that dates back to the remains of vitis vinífera – along with utensils and archaeological remains – found in Jumilla originating in 3,000 BC, being the oldest in Europe.
The production area is delimited, on the one hand, by the extreme southeast of the province of Albacete, which includes the municipalities of Montealegre del Castillo, Fuente Álamo, Ontur, Hellín, Albatana and Tobarra; on the other, the north of the province of Murcia, with the municipality of Jumilla. An area characterized by large valleys furrowed by mountain ranges up to 1,380 m. A total of 17,000 hectares of vineyards, mostly rainfed, cultivated in glass, and located on predominantly limestone soils, at altitudes that vary between 320 and 950 meters.
The climate of this area is continental with the influence of the Mediterranean. The scarce rainfall that barely reaches 300 mm a year and the more than 3,000 hours of sunshine, favor the low incidence of pests and diseases, which allows a high percentage of organic farming. The Monastrell grape is the base of 70% of the wines that are made in this Protected Designation of Origin.