The first organic Sherry will be released in 2015. The cooperative AECOVI buys all the organically produced grapes in the region, and in a few months will release a late harvested wine from the 2014 harvest. AECOVI is a group of cooperatives: COVISAN in Sanlucar, Nuestra Señora de las Angustias in Jerez, Catolico Agricola in Chipiona and Union de Viticultores Chiclaneros in Chiclana. Most of the AECOVI vineyards belong to over a thousand smallholders who pick manually and deliver the grapes to four big lagares (presshouses).
The harvest of organic Palomino was some 140,000 kilos, which were pressed and fermented separately. Some of this must will also be used to feed the organic vinegar soleras which were established five years ago and whose produce is already available on the market.
|Turning the bunches of PX during sunning (foto Diario Jerez)|
All this is the culmination of at least two years of strictly organic production in order to receive the necessary certification, and now under official control, the vineyards must be free of any chemical products, fertilisers or herbicides. The cooperatives’ technical people are keeping an eye on things in order to achieve the maximum quality with the maximum respect to the environment.
AECOVI has also successfully completed the sunning of the Pedro Ximenez grapes, largely thanks to very good weather with the absence of rain. A total of 60,000 kilos of PX were picked, all in the Jerez area. Fine, dry weather is vital as once picked, the bunches must be exposed to the sun for 8-10 days, and any humidity such as rain can cause big losses to rot. The vintage has been of exceptional quality, but while the fine weather has reduced the crop somewhat, the alcohol levels are good. In nearly all the vineyards levels of 12, even 13 have been achieved, much higher than usual.