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Yecla is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines located around the town of Yecla in the northernmost corner of the region of Murcia (Spain) and is completely surrounded by other DOs: Jumilla DO to the south and west, Almansa DO to the north and Alicante DO to the east. The area is notable for its extensive use of the red Monastrell grape variety.
Findings from archaeological excavations in the area have confirmed that grape growing and wine production has been practiced in this area for over 2000 years and was probably introduced by the ancient Romans. There was a period of expansion at the end of the 19th century when French wine merchants became involved in the region due to the effects of the Great French Wine Blight. Official DO status was acquired in 1975.
The vineyards covered by Yecla DO are located in a transition zone between the Mediterranean and the central upland plateaux known as La Mancha, at altitudes ranging from 400 to 800 metres (1,300 to 2,600 ft) above sea level. The soil is lime bearing, and the subsoil is thick with a high carbonate content. The topsoil is sandy, poor in organic matter, deep with good permeability.
The climate is Mediterranean-continental, with long, hot dry summers and mild winters. Maximum temperature in summer can reach 39ºC and minimum temperature in winter can be as low as -5ºC. Rainfall is sparse, only 300 millimetres (12 in) per year, occurs mainly in autumn and spring, sometimes in the form of violent storms. Sunlight hours high, about 3,000 hours per year.
The authorised white varieties are: Airen, Merseguera, Macabeo, Malvasia and Chardonnay The authorised red varieties are: Monastrell, Garnacha tinta, Garnacha Tintorera, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.