Tuesday, 14 July 2015

14.7.15 Decanter Sherry Selection; Cooperatives to Join Forces

Decanter Magazine’s associate editor Tina Gellie has been picking 12 Top Value Fortified Wines, and her Sherry choices were:

Manzanilla La Gitana en Rama, Hidalgo La Gitana (£13.00 per 75cl)
Fino Tio Pepe en Rama, González Byass (£16.00 per 75cl)
Manzanilla en Rama Goya XL, Delgado Zuleta (£24.00 per 50cl)
Manzanilla en Rama Deliciosa, Valdespino (£10.00 per half)

Following the bankruptcy of the growers’ cooperative Aecovi, the seven remaining cooperatives are looking at joining forces, and looking for help from the Junta de Andalucía. It is almost ten years since the coops were last unified but that unity broke up when the Palomares and Albarizas co-ops broke away along with the Sanlúcar bodega of Aecovi amid discrepancies in grape prices to bodegas.

The seven co-ops, Angustias, Covisan, Virgen de la Caridad, Palomares, Albarizas, Católico Agricola and Unión de Viticultores Chiclaneros, want to re-group with a minimal structure but with a strong enough voice to negotiate with other bodies in the trade. To that end they have consulted FAECA, an organisation which defends the interests of coops in Andalucía, but it remains to be decided what sort of legal framework will be adopted.

Yesterday the presidents of the co-ops held a meeting with Federico Fernández, the Junta’s provincial delegate to discuss their worries and thrash out the best way to face the incertitude of the new situation. They want to make the most of their resources to increase profitability, and are thinking of introducing central buying of grapes.

The Junta supports the growers in their quest and will cooperate fully with their re-integration, and will refer the matter to other departments specialising in employment and cooperative associations. The growers must, however work together, think less individualistically and think of the longer term if they want to reinvent themselves and avoid the mistakes of the past.

In one matter there is unanimity, and that is the conversion of the area from “zona de producción” to “zona de crianza”, meaning that particularly in Trebujena and Chiclana wines could legally be aged there. This has been debated already at the Consejo, but so far without resolution. The growers’ presidents asked about the delay in the elections to the Consejo, and Fernández replied that they had been postponed to avoid coinciding with political elections.

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