La Mancha Wine
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The land of windmills and Don Quixote happens to be one of the largest wine-making regions in all of Europe, possibly the world, with vineyards taking up over 192,000 hectars of land. It occupies a massive expanse of central Iberia, and touches on Comunidad Valenciana and Murcia in the east, Extremadura in the west and Andalucia (Andalusia) in the south, as well as the areas around Madrid. The region is mostly flat with big extremes in temperatures that are flaming hot and dry in the summer and bitter cold in winter.
The white grape Airen is the most widely planted and makes a light, crispy refreshing dry wine. Second behind that, but in far fewer plantings is Macabeo. Reds are produced mainly from Cencibel (Tempranillo), with blends of Garnacha, Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot. These wines are becoming increasingly more artisanal and have begun to make quite a name for the region.
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