Thursday, 28 September 2017

28.9.17 Fedejerez Wants to Stop Fino from Sanlúcar

Under the Regulations governing the production of Sherry it has always been perfectly legal for bodegas in Sanlúcar to produce and sell Fino as well as Manzanilla, but it has long been an aspiration of Fedejerez to put a stop to this. The matter was last raised in 2013 but having aroused heated exchanges it was decided to shelve it. At a plenary meeting of the Consejo Regulador on Tuesday however, it was raised again with the idea of modifying the regulations to exclude Sanlúcar, leaving only Jerez and El Puerto de Santa María for the production of Fino and only Sanlúcar for the production of Manzanilla.

The proposal was presented at the meeting but was totally rejected by the (one) representative of Manzanilla and so Fedejerez will put the matter to the vote at some future meeting. In justification of its move, Fedejerez recalled that in May 2013 it raised the matter after a commission concluded that there is no objective parameter which allows for a difference between Fino and Manzanilla. In the judgement of Fedejerez therefore, the continued production of two wines, produced in exactly the same way and which cannot be distinguished and which belong to two different Denominaciones de Origen is “irregular” and “indefensible”.

According to the Fedejerez proposal, “The lack of technical specifications to distinguish Fino from Manzanilla calls into question the sustainability of the DO Manzanilla de Sanlúcar itself, the regulations of which establish that Sanlúcar is the exclusive zone for the ageing of Manzanilla. The defence of the DO Manzanilla – the fulfilment of EU requirements for the recognition and protection of DO wines produced in member states – should bring with it the assurance that only Sanlúcar has suitable conditions for the ageing of Manzanilla, and that consequently no other type of biologically aged wine, such as Fino, can be aged there.”

The Fedejerez arguments are the same as those in the original proposal which questioned the possibility of producing the two wines in the same place. After pressing the Junta de Andalucía to “exercise its powers in matters of Denominaciones de Origen as soon as possible”, Fedejerez reiterated its claim to be defending the uniqueness of the DO Manzanilla to avoid the loss of credibility which could result from the lack of differentiating parameters between Fino and Manzanilla “and the consequent harm to the whole Sherry region.”

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