Although many of us had very little sleep that first night, it didn't show the next day - excitement for the next two days of exploring the DO Jumilla was clearly evident in everyone's expressions. We started at Bodegas Bleda with an array of many different wines, then headed to Bodegas Carchelo, where we witnessed the bottling of a very unique wine and visited vineyards with breathtaking views of the mountains. We ate an outstanding lunch in an exclusive downtown Jumilla restaurant located in a 200 year old city home, Restaurant Loreto, and then we headed off to the state-of-the-art winery af Bodegas Luzón - their uniquely elegant tasting room offered each one of us our own tasting station, complete with individual copper spitoon sinks and faucets for water and rinsing. On our third day, with a continued focus on Jumilla, we went inside a cave home at Bodegas Casa de la Ermita, were wowed by the wines (and Monastrell jam) of Bodegas Hacienda del Carche (a link to their website will be added, it is temporarily down) and visited Bodegas Olivares, one of Jumilla's all family-run operations that started producing wine in 1930. From Olivares, we met with the winemakers we had visited throughout our two days in Jumilla for lunch at Cafe Sebastian, located in the Jumilla farmers market. Once again, wine, food and vibrant conversation seemed to flow with no end - I was beginning to understand the concept of the after-lunch siesta. Our third day ended with a memorable visit to the 3,000+ year old breathtaking Jumilla Castle.
Exploring the Land of Monastrell