Friday, 31 January 2014

31.1.14 Vineyards Special Plan; 2.3 Million to Promote Sherry

The “special plan for the development of vineyard activities” was approved unanimously and envisages the re-launching of vineyard and wine tourism. It has great importance for the city, which as the mayor put it, “is a place with great patrimonial, ethnographical, cultural and architectural value with especially protected countryside”. Local councillor Agustin Munoz pointed out the support of the wine and tourism sectors for this historic and novel project would act as an umbrella for any public and private initiatives which will add value and reduce time taken to implement them.

 The Support Programme for Spanish Viti-viniculture is to invest 2.3 million euros, paid for by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, in the promotion of Sherry outside Europe. The announcement came from Federico Fernandez, environment delegate of the Junta, on his visit to Las Angustias Cooperative, where he met Salvador Espinosa, its newly appointed president.

The money will be divided as follows: Aecovi Cooperative will receive 694,518 euros, while the rest will be spent in the following countries: USA, Canada, Mexico: 223,380 euros; Russia, Ukraine, Serbia: 141,168 euros; China, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines: 108,018 euros.

While in Jerez, Fernandez took the opportunity to pay visits to Williams & Humbert and Lustau, two companies to which the Junta de Andalucia has given 120,000 euros in funds towards promotion in third countries. He underlined the Junta’s commitment to the cooperative movement, which will be a priority in 2014. He said that promotion will determine their long term viability.

Salvador Espinosa reaffirmed what Fernandez said, how important financial is to promote wine abroad, especially to such potentially important markets as Asia, USA and Canada. He announced he was going to China in March on a sales mission organised by the Business Confederation. He \said it would be more difficult for the cooperatives than for the bodegas who have recognised brands, but he would fight for market share.

He pointed out, however that it should never be forgotten that the Cooperatives’ biggest market is the bodegas themselves, who buy the musts, but who have enjoyed years of paying low prices. The growers must remain profitable, an no growers, no Sherry. In reference to Jerez being European City of Wine this year, he said that the cooperatives would be doing open doors days, tastings, food and wine pairings and vineyard visits. “We have come a long way, but there is still plenty to be done”.


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