The three largest bodegas in Sanlúcar have made their view of BIB clear. Barbadillo, La Guita and Delgado Zuleta, which between them sell 70% of all Manzanilla, believe that this container harms the image of the wine and its international prestige which have taken centuries to achieve. In a document published today the three firms point out the loss of investment and jobs implied by BIB and ask for meaningful dialogue to seek agreement.
They go on to say that BIB is illegal, and that while the Junta says it could be legal in certain circumstances, there has been no proper resolution of the denunciations by the Consejo for the sale of Manzanilla in BIB by members of the Association of Artisan Bodegas of Sanlúcar. They say that they comply with the law and ask that everyone else does too without getting into arguments about the pros and cons of the BIB versus the garrafa, which is legal. The point out that not only is the use of BIB illegal but it has been refused by the Consejo on three occasions.
According to the three, “the flagrant use of BIB is to fly in the face of market reality and the potential of Manzanilla to generate wealth and added value. It will have a bad effect on employment in Sanlúcar and hit financial resources for investment in quality, vineyards, research and development, infrastructures and parallel industries, affecting the business fabric of the entire region. It would mean that money invested in bottling lines would have been wasted and staff would have to be laid off”. BIBs have been on the market for over 20 years and are associated with poor quality and image, the very things the three bodegas have been doing their best to avoid.
Four bodegas in Sanlúcar have jointly cancelled their membership of Fedejerez. In a communication to the president Evaristo Babé they said they felt they lacked representation and their interests were not defended. Hidalgo La Gitana, Miguel Sánchez Ayala, Juan Piñero and La Cigarrera, all members of the recently constituted Association of Artisan Bodegas of Sanlúcar, have mulled the matter over for some months. They are angry at Babé’s accusations and repeated denouncements both in the press and at the Consejo and at his lack of mediation.