Fedejerez and the Consejo have responded to yesterday’s announcement by the Manzanilla producers saying they will denounce those who sell these products which cannot have the DO. They warned consumers that without it there is no guarantee of the wine’s authenticity and quality.
President of Fedejerez, Evaristo Babé, spoke yesterday of the unacceptable and outrageous provocation of the Manzanilleros as much for the content as for the menacing tone of the message sent out by the 10 bodegas who announced that they would be selling DO Manzanilla in BIB despite the prohibition of this container ratified by a plenary at the Consejo. He said their posture showed a complete lack of respect for the institution to which they chose to belong. Rules are there to be obeyed; they can be changed, but always with respect for the law. He urged the Junta to deal with this “attack” as it would be worse if the DO had to.
“They can put a DO label on a BIB, but it is still not Manzanilla.” Babé warned consumers not to let themselves be deceived, as the Consejo is the only institution with the capacity to certify genuine Manzanilla. Putting it in perspective, the bodegas which have subscribed to selling Manzanilla in BIB only represent 25% of the Manzanilleros, the big firms have not, and so this only represents 4-5% of total Sherry sales.
For its part the Consejo agrees completely with the position of Fedejerez. Its director, César Saldaña said decisions taken at plenary meetings are adopted by a majority and they should be respected; disobedience is not the best way forward. Packaging is a matter for the Consejo, where any rule changes can be debated, and in his view the decision of the Manzanilleros does nothing but aggravate the situation. He pointed out that to sell a wine the label, which states the liquid content, has to be registered at the Consejo, and since BIB is not authorised neither labels nor precintas (official seals) which prove authenticity can be issued.
The sale of bulk wine is only permitted by the DO in garrafas (large glass containers). These are primarily intended for the tabancos, though Fedejerez wants to see garrafas banned as well. The Consejo is keeping a look out to see if Manzanilleros try and use garrafa labels for BIB which would be illegal as the capacities of garrafas are 4,8, and 18 litres while those for BIB are 5,10,and 15. Any infraction would be reported to theJunta’s agriculture department. If the Manzanilleros continue with their plan to sell DO Manzanilla in BIB the Consejo could seek their withdrawal from the register of bodegas in the DO, an extreme action which it is not contemplating for now, preferring dialogue.