Alicante wine makers fight to retain identity

VINEYARDS: There are more than 44,500 hectares in Alicante and Valencia.

ALICANTE Province is battling to retain its own Designated Protection of Origin (PDO) wine label.

Like producers of similarly-protected wine – DOP in Spanish – from Utiel-Requena in Valencia, they will take their fight to the Supreme Court in Madrid.

The decision came after the Valencia Upper Court (TSJ) rejected their appeals against the decision to classify wine from practically all municipalities in the region’s three provinces as DO Valencia.

“The TSJ verdict is inadmissible and breaches national and European Union directives,” agreed Antonio Miguel Navarro, president of the DO Alicante committee and Jose Miguel Media, his Utiel-Requena counterpart.

“Decades of history and prestige cannot be lost like this, especially after Alicante Province’s efforts and the current quality and certification of our wine,” Navarro declared.

The Alicante and Utiel-Requena DOP’s labels are two of Spain’s oldest and were created in 1932.  Vineyards in both zones occupy 44,500 hectares, with around 150 mostly family-run bodegas cultivating traditional grapes like Monastrell, Moscatel and the Bobal grape reputedly brought here by the Romans.

The Generalitat’s current secretary for Agriculture and Water Francisco Rodriguez Mulero blamed the previous regional government for creating “an illogical and short-lived conflict.”

He intends to discuss the situation with all concerned, but reminded them of the importance of concentrating on the common goal of increasing the price fetched by the region’s grapes, ‘currently the lowest in Spain.’

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