Drink Local, Eat Local: Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla wine region (near Cartagena), Spain

The entrance to the Juan Gil winery, which is the original site of the expanded Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

The entrance to the Juan Gil winery, which is the original site of the expanded Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

From Cartagena we ventured out to the Jumilla wine region to visit one of the flagship Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates) wineries – Juan Gil, the original winery of the now expanded family holdings across Spain.  We had an extensive tour of the winery, a tasting of some of their well made wines, and an outstanding multi-course luncheon nicely accompanied by some of their top-end wines (including a Tempranillo from another Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares estate winery in El Pego, Spain).

 

Vineyards of the Juan Gil winery, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

Vineyards of the Juan Gil winery, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

The main fermentation room at the Juan Gil winery, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

The main fermentation room at the Juan Gil winery, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

The barrel ageing room in the cellar of the Juan Gil winery, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

The barrel ageing room in the cellar of the Juan Gil winery, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

From the main Juan Gil winery buildings we drove over to a newer complex where they produce their top end red wine, Juan Gil Etiqueta Azul (Juan Gil Blue Label), made mostly from the ind

From the main Juan Gil winery buildings we drove over to a newer complex where they produce their top end red wine, Juan Gil Etiqueta Azul (Juan Gil Blue Label), made mostly from the indigenous Monastreli grapes with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blended in to make a complex wine that is aged 18 months in a selection of French and American oak barrels, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

“It’s impressive to see the progression of such a large wine group, considering its humble origins and the area where they started.  Aside from Jumilla, where they own Juan Gil and Bodegas El Nido, the Gil Family Estates is also present in Montsant (Can Blau), Priorat (Bluegrey), Calatayud (Ateca), Campo de Borja (Morca), Almansa (Atalaya), Castilla y León (Tridente and Shaya, the latter under the Rueda appellation) and Rías Baixas (Lagar de Condesa).  They have recently expanded to Rioja where they have built a winery called Rosario Vera after buying vineyards in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.

“The group comprises over 1,400 hectares of own vineyards with production exceeding 8 million bottles.  Up to 75% of the wines are exported to over 40 countries.  The fourth generation’s nine siblings all have a stake in the company headed by Miguel and Ángel Gil.

“The group’s strategy is based on offering best value wines and the creation of economies of scale to be more competitive…  Their wine portfolio usually includes an entry-level wine followed by a top value wine in the mid-range category and a premium wine.” — www.spanishwinelover.com

 

The fermentation tanks and ageing barrels for the Juan Gil Etiqueta Azul (Juan Gil Blue Label) wine, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

The fermentation tanks and ageing barrels for the Juan Gil Etiqueta Azul (Juan Gil Blue Label) wine, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

The winery_s dining room for visiting guests where we enjoyed a multi-course luncheon, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

The winery’s dining room for visiting guests where we enjoyed a multi-course luncheon, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

Juan Gil Silver Label wine – the grapes used to produce this wine came from old vineyards with chalky and stony soils, poor in nutrients, that are ideal for the growing of the Monastre

Juan Gil Silver Label wine – the grapes used to produce this wine came from old vineyards with chalky and stony soils, poor in nutrients, that are ideal for the growing of the Monastrell variety, with a low yield; the wine was aged in French oak barrels; Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

Our last savory course at the luncheon was this delicious paella cooked in a rather large pan for our small group, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

Our last savory course at the luncheon was this delicious paella cooked in a rather large pan for our small group, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

Rejón is the Gil Family Estates_ best vineyard of Tempranillo located in the town of El Pego, Spain, with 130 year-old vines that are planted on a top layer of gravel over very sandy

Rejón is the Gil Family Estates’ best vineyard of Tempranillo located in the town of El Pego, Spain, with 130 year-old vines that are planted on a top layer of gravel over very sandy soils; the limited production wine retains the typicity and of the indigenous grapes coming from the unique terroir; the wine is fermented in small vats and aged in French oak barrels for 20 months before bottling — Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares (Gil Family Estates), Jumilla, Spain

 

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