Travellers to the attractive inland areas of the Region of Valencia can learn even more about the ancient wine-growing tradition of what is now the Utiel-Requena Denomination of Origin. Tourism combines with culture to offer historic town centres, wonderful scenery and delicious local dishes accompanied by the excellent prize-winning local wines that are sure to delight all those visiting the area.
Winemaking is one of the cornerstones of the Utiel-Requena economy and vines have been cultivated here continuously since Iberian times, increasing in importance from the 19th century onwards. Nowadays, over 700 families grow vines in the Utiel-Requena denomination of origin area and over a hundred wineries produce high-quality wines and cavas (sparkling wines).
This long history of wine-making means that its culture impregnates all the activities in the area and the “Ruta del Vino” (Wine Route) is an interesting option for travellers looking for a new kind of tourism that gives them an excellent insight into this traditional industry.
The Wine Route was created by the Asociación Ruta del Vino de la D.O. Utiel-Requena, which was founded in 1999 by several bodies to promote the tourist potential of this inland area and highlight the thousand-year-old culture of wine. The over 50 establishments in the Association, including wineries, restaurants, hotels, museums, craft shops and official bodies, combine to offer visitors a comprehensive and attractive list of options.
The Wine Route in the Utiel-Requena denomination of origin is some 50 kilometres inland, approximately 30 minutes by car from the city of Valencia. The soil and climate have created an area that is ideal for wine growing, with 40,000 hectares of vines planted in this vast area, the heart of wine growing in the Region of Valencia. The Utiel-Requena denomination of origin Wine Route passes through ten municipalities Caudete de las Fuentes, Camporrobles, Chera, Fuenterrobles, Requena, Siete Aguas, Sinarcas, Utiel, Venta del Moro and Villargordo del Cabriel all dotted with vineyards and with endless attractions to ensure that visitors enjoy their stay.
La Plana de Requena-Utiel lies in the westernmost highest part of the Province of Valencia. As you approach from the east, the Mediterranean landscape gives way to the typical Meseta (Plateau) landscape – we should remember that these lands belonged to Castile up until the mid 19th century. The great plain is surrounded by deep grey mountain ranges that blend into the horizon and highlands carpeted with vineyards – in the 18th century the area was covered with mulberry trees for the vigorous silk industry. The winemaking industry then took over and reached its
peak in the late 1900s and early 20th century when it supplied much of the European market.
The Wine Route offers a number of enotourism routes to make things easier for those who want to learn more about the culture of wine in the area. These packages have been carefully put together to include everything visitors need for both one-day and weekend wine routes, offering different routes at rates tailored for all pockets. The routes include visits to the main wineries in the Utiel-Requena denomination of
origin area, with wine-tasting sessions directed by expert enologists, showing the best local countryside and monuments, as well as offering the chance to enjoy top-class local food, drink and accommodation in charming country hotels.
The Asociación Ruta del Vino de la D.O. Utiel-Requena has made a firm commitment to enotourism, offering quality and service to travellers seeking culture and relaxation. This type of tourism is becoming ever more popular and the Wine Route is currently going through the Ministry of Tourism certification process to allow it to be promoted on international markets.