Monastrell’s origins are in Spain. Its name (monasterio = monastery) could be an indication that the variety was originally cultivated by monks. Monastrell is identical to the variety known as Mourvèdre in France. The vines like sunshine and warmth, but also a good supply of water. A mediterranean climate is consequently ideal.
Monastrell: a true Spaniard loves the sun
As well as in Spain where it is grown in many regions, Monastrell is also cultivated in many other places in the world. This is clear from the sheer number of synonyms by which the grape variety is still known. The most widespread are Mourvèdre in France and Mataro in Australia and California.
The variety originally came from the Spanish province of Valencia, near the town of Sagunto. This used to be a major wine port and was called Murviedro in Catalan until 1877. The French name, Mourvèdre, is undoubtedly derived from this.
Monastrell is a variety ideally suited to warm, dry regions. It is sensitive to drought, however. The vine is also prone to both powdery and downy mildew as well as mites. The variety naturally feels at home in its native country Spain, which is also where the biggest growing regions are, in Castilla-La Mancha and the Levante region.
Dark and rich in tannins: wine made from Monastrell
The grape ripens very late and consequently produces small harvests. Monastrell yields darkly coloured tannic wines that are high in alcohol. The variety is vinified as a varietal as well as in blends and displays aromas of blackberries.Monastrell is often blended with the Bobal grape. In France Monastrell is often a component of appellation wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône or Ventoux for example.