We are facing a journey that crosses the stages that Don Quixote traveled on the back of Rocinante. The Don Quixote Wine Route crosses La Mancha focusing on its vineyards. The adventures of this route start in the town of Quintanar de la Orden, where the Condesa de Leganza wineries, from the Faustino wine group, are located. Later, this tour enters El Toboso, the cradle of Dulcinea. Already on the horizon, we will see the mythical mills of Campo de Criptana, against which Don Quixote was fighting.
Within the offer of thematic routes related to wine, the Don Quixote Wine Route is a route full of wineries and vineyards, dotted with low houses, with stone as the protagonist. Cozy villas that will delight the visitor with their gastronomy, dotted with the best wines. It could not be less on a route dedicated to this theme. And it is that the red wines of La Mancha, with their Denomination of Origin, are an attraction for lovers of this broth. The culture and gastronomy of this journey that takes us to the most international Spanish literary work.
More than 400 years ago, Miguel de Cervantes wrote about the gait of a languid man and his squire. Little did he imagine that, four centuries later, he would continue touring the scenarios in which he imagined the exploits of his ingenious gentleman, Don Quixote. Following in the footsteps of the most famous protagonist of our literature, we not only discover the beauty of the La Mancha lands, but also the exquisite wines that are born in them.
On this route we will pass by those in which the vine becomes the protagonist, from Quintanar de la Orden, in the province of Toledo; to Santa Cruz de Mudela, in Ciudad Real. An itinerary full of farms and wineries that treasure the traditional art of La Mancha viticulture and the best wines of the Denominations of Origin La Mancha and Valdepeñas.
Of the red wines that are produced under the protection of the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) La Mancha are made mainly with Cencibel or Tempranillo, Garnacha, Moravia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes. Meanwhile, the grape varieties authorized to make white wines are Airén, Pardilla, Viura or Macabeo, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The kingdom of beautiful Dulcinea
The adventures of the Ingenious Hidalgo begin in Quintanar de la Orden, in Toledo. A town famous for its Casa de Piedra, its bullring and the Condesa de Leganza winery, belonging to the Faustino Group. The Condesa de Leganza is made there, in its red, pink and white varieties, protected by the Denomination of Origin La Mancha.
The next obligatory stop is El Toboso, the place of origin of Dulcinea, the great love of Don Quixote. Here we can visit the Venta de Don Quijote winery (on whose farm the ingenious gentleman was armed knight). Our path continues to Campo de Criptana, where in addition to the famous mills that Don Quixote fought against, are the cellars of El Vínculo-another wine with D.O. La Mancha- and Alejairén white wine, from Grupo Pesquera.
We continue our way to the south, until Argamasilla de Alba. Here we have, very close to the Peñarroya Castle, the Montalvo-Wilmot Wineries, where you can taste the Cabernet Sauvigon, from the D.O. La Mancha.
The capital of wine
On the back of his faithful Rocinante, Don Quixote rode to the limits of La Mancha, where he entered the mountains to retire and meditate on his new adventures. In this area, the Campo de Montiel region, we can already feel ourselves in the middle of the wine capital since the Denomination of Origin Valdepeñas is produced here, which includes the municipalities of Valdepeñas, Alcubillas, Moral de Calatrava, San Carlos del Valle, Santa Cruz de Mudela, Torrenueva and part of Torre de Juan Abad, Granátula de Calatrava, Alhambra and Montiel.
The grape varieties authorized in this D.O. They are: Airén, Macabeo, Chardonnay, Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel of small grain, for white wines. While the reds are made exclusively with grapes of the varieties: Cencibel or Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sirah and Petit Verdot. We can learn the whole story about these grapes and their wines at the Valdepeñas Wine Museum, located in an old winery from 1901. In this same town, it is also recommended to visit the Viña Abali wineries (from the Félix Solís group) whose reds, whites and pink protects the DO Valdepeñas.
Looking out over Andalusia, but without leaving the province of Ciudad Real, we reached the end of our route. The last stop is Santa Cruz de Mudela, where Montecruz, other wines from the D.O. Valdepeñas, produced in the Los Marcos wineries, honor the wine fame of this land. A perfect finishing touch to remember with good taste this itinerary that has taken us.
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