Valdepeñas, which translates to “Valley of Stones,” is located south of Madrid in the southern border of Spain’s Castilla-La Mancha region. The Valdepeñas DO, which shares its name with the town, is almost fully surrounded by the expansive La Mancha DO. It is best known for its aloque or clarete, a light-bodied red wine that is a blend of both Cencibel and white Airén grapes.
Although Airén vines are widely planted due to their tolerance of the semi-arid conditions, Tempranillo has become a critical element of Valdepeñas production. Due to the versatility of daily staples to higher quality wines that are well suited for oak barrel aging. Some local winegrowers have begun experiments with international varieties including Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.