Tucked between Andalucía, Castillo la Mancha and the region of Valencia, Murcia is a gateway to Spain. But the region has its own distinct culture and subregions, including Jumilla in the Murcia’s northeast. Widely recognized for its wines, a day trip to Jumilla is not complete without a visit to a winery or two but Jumilla offers distinct pleasures – a restored 15th century castle, Roman and Arab ruins, a notable Holy Week, and restaurants that serve a taste of northeast Murcia. And it’s only an hour’s drive north of Los Alcazares and Costa Calida, Dream Casas’ home. Retiring in Murcia can be relaxing but with towns like Jumilla so close by, adventure is calling.
Wines of Jumilla
In Murcia and especially in Jumilla, a Denominación de Origen or quality-controlled region, the prime grape is Monastrell accounting for 85% of all vine plantings. Known for its ability to thrive without irrigation in the region’s tough soils and dry climate, the varietal displays a focused intensity in the glass that is revered by winemakers and sommeliers around the world. To understand the history of making wine in Jumilla, a visit to the Jumilla Wine Museum is in order – the ancient amphora and cucos, or vineyard shelters, are worth seeing. Visitors to the region are enchanted by the quality wines and the warm and welcoming experiences of visiting Murcian wineries. Close to the museum, Esencia Wines offers a Monastrell tasting experience. Bodegas Juan Gil is perhaps best known to Americans. Stop in to taste the “jewel of Jumilla,” or old vine Monastrell.
The Castle of Jumilla
Towering over the town is a restored castle where the first fortifications pre-date the Romans before it was taken over by them. The Moors subsequently built on top of the Roman structures until the “reconquest” of Christian soldiers centuries later. A notable nobleman ordered the castle to be rebuilt in 1445 and 500 years later, a 30-year restoration project restored the castle to its 15th century glory. Visitors can view the keep, the ancient cisterns, the noblemens’ living quarters and the rooftop battlements.
Towns all over Spain celebrate the week between Palm Sunday and Easter with customs specific to their community. In Jumilla, this includes public events depicting the arrest of Jesus, pilgrimages from the hermitage of San Agustín and from the Santa Ana monastery and a series of processions that mark the stages of the final days of Jesus that hearken back to the Medieval era.
A Taste of Jumilla
Beloved Murcian rice varietal Calasparra is on every menu, often in dishes like arroz caldero and arroz la banda or arroz negra, available at Restaurante Reyes Católicos. Restaurante de Loreto serves a seven-course tasting menu of the flavors of Jumilla that changes with the seasons. Mushroom stew with black sausage and goat cheese and a lamb and pistachio-stuffed pastry are recent offerings. For a taste of Jumillano quail or mountain snails, look no further then Restaurant Casa Sebastián. All are located in the heart of Jumilla.
The best part about Jumilla is that it is just a short day trip from your Dream Casa. Whether you are looking for a home for holiday or retirement, let us help you follow your dream.