Monday, 29 January 2018

29.1.18 Contentious Issues for next Consejo Regulador Meeting

The order of the day for the next plenary meeting of the Consejo Regulador contains two matters which have long been contentious and need resolution. Item 4, headed “Applications in Relation to the Zona de Crianza” begins with section 4:1 in which bodegas in the production zone wish to extend the crianza zone to cover the totality of the production zone. At present, the crianza zone only includes the towns of Jerez, Sanlúcar and El Puerto de Santa María. Bodegas there can buy wine or mosto from bodegas in the production zone, age it in the crianza zone and sell it as DO Sherry, but the original producers can’t sell what is pretty well the same wine directly as DO Sherry because they are not in the crianza zone. Some great wines from places like Trebujena, Chipiona and Chiclana cannot, therefore call themselves DO Sherry.

Section 4:2 covers an issue has been debated for at least a decade, which is the desire of the bodegas in Jerez and El Puerto to put an end to Fino from Sanlúcar. Their argument is that Sanlúcar has its own wine: Manzanilla, which can only be produced there, so it is unfair that it can also produce Fino. If bodegas in Jerez and El Puerto want to sell Manzanilla, they either have to buy it from bodegas in Sanlúcar or have their own bodega there, which adds considerably to their costs.

As things stand, while both Fino and Manzanilla can be made with the same grapes from the same DO vineyards, the only real difference is that Manzanilla must be aged in Sanlúcar where the flor is permanent all year round. The result is Manzanilla though, not Fino, according to the Jerez and El Puerto Bodegas who object to the fact that they can’t produce Manzanilla, but Sanlúcar can produce Fino. The sanluqueños, however, feel that they could be deprived of a historic right, and that they can indeed produce Fino, even though not a great deal of it is actually produced, and most of that is for BOB – and they don’t have to buy it in, making them competitive. Having consulted independent experts on the subject, Fedejerez has prepared a report which will no doubt be produced at the meeting.

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