The 50% of the vineyard surface of all Spain is in this region. In addition, it is also the main producer of wine-based alcohol on the planet.
In the center of the La Mancha plain, and at an altitude of 662 meters, rises the town of Tomelloso in Ciudad Real, with approximately 38,000 inhabitants. Integrated within the La Mancha Wine Route, it has the honor of being the world's leading producer of wine-based alcohol.
The 50% of the vineyard surface of all Spain is in this area, with half a million hectares dedicated to the cultivation of the vine, under the control of the DO La Mancha Regulatory Council. For this reason, the region is unofficially known as 'the largest vineyard in the world'.
The origin dates back to the middle of the 18th century, when the vine began to be introduced among its crops. In the first decades it was done timidly, until it reached its peak during the last quarter of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, when it was practically going to become a monoculture.
The enormous wine production, together with the poor communication routes of the town, led to the development of a large number of alcoholic companies from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, which by means of alcoholic distillation reduced the volume of wine production, thus facilitating its production. transportation and marketing.
Tomelloso is the main producer of wine-based alcohol on the planet
These alcohol companies, at first owned by residents of Tomelloso and later by important companies in the national alcohol sector, led the town to be the first producer of wine alcohol on the planet in the middle of the 20th century, an honor that still continues. current.
This wine-making tradition has given rise to a characteristic architecture that is different from any corner of the planet. An example of this are the chimneys, built in their day next to the distillation towers that were in charge of using the leftover grapes that were not used for wine in order to produce wine alcohol.
Its high size is explained by the fact that these brick constructions sucked the smoke from the coal boilers without the need for fans or any other mechanical aid, at the same time that they raised said smoke to a sufficient height so that it did not descend again and blacken the ground. . Currently, about 40 chimneys are still standing.
In turn, the subsoil of Tomelloso is full of caves that were set up in the past due to the great needs of making and storing wine under exceptional conditions of light, humidity and temperature. Of the 4,000 that existed in the era of greatest splendor, about 600 remain, of which about 50 can be visited.
Currently, there are important wineries and distilleries in Tomelloso, such as Bodegas Fundador, Bodegas Osborne, Bodegas Las Copas, Altosa, Bodegas Verum, Vinícola de Tomelloso, Virgen de las Viñas Bodega and Almazara, Bodegas Centro Españolas, Viña Ruda, Casaquemada ...
To make a visit inside, a prior appointment is necessary. To do this, contact the Tomelloso Tourist Office via e-mail ([email protected]) or by phone 926 52 88 01 - Ext. 1335. More information on their website (http: // www.tomelloso.es/turismo).