DO status awarded 1975.
Utiel-Requena lies to the west of Valencia and takes its name from the two towns – Utiel and Requena – which lie 15km apart within the DO. The largest and most inland of the Valencia region’s three DOs, the vineyards of Utiel-Requena rise to between 600-900m above sea level, on an undulating plain surrounded by mountains.
Although close enough to the sea to be influenced by the Mediterranean, the climate can be harsh and unforgiving, with temperatures up to 40°C in the summer and falling to –15°C in the winter, although such extreme temperatures are rare. Summers can be short and the winters long and hard, but the region enjoys around 2,500 hours of sunshine and around 400-500mm of rain per year. The climate of the region, combined with its altitude means that the wines mature much more quickly than in the cooler, northern DOs. A Tempranillo from Utiel-Requena can be fully mature after six months in oak and a year in the bottle – less than half the time required in the DoCa Rioja.
The soil of the area is very mixed. Alluvial soils predominate in the Magro valley to the north, while in the south, there is sandstone, marl and clay. The best vineyards are found on the outcrops of limestone throughout the DO.
Utiel-Requena produces the most robust and powerful reds of Valencia’s three DOs, predominantly using the Bobal, grape. This variety lends itself perfectly to making fresh, fruity rosés, and growers from this region claim they produce Spain’s best rosados.
The region of Utiel-Requena is renowned for a blending process called ‘doble pasta’, which helps to produce the intense wines for which the area is known. The initial pressings are left in the tank after the juice has been run off, then another batch of grapes is placed on top of the original skins and the whole process starts again. This juice is, not surprisingly, high in extract and contributes to the intensity of the final product. The juice is also in much demand from other wine areas both inside and outside Spain, to which it is shipped in bulk for blending purposes.
The recognized varieties of grape for the production of red wine include Bobal, Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta, with experimental plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
Recommended varieties of grape for the production of white wine include Macabeo, Merseguera and Planta Nova (Tardana), with experimental plantings of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Consejo Regulador for DO Utiel-Requena
46300 Utiel (Valencia)
Tel: +34 962 171062
Fax: +34 962 172185
Locate Utiel-Requena on Map of Spain
Bodegas from Utiel-Requena on our wine list: