Tuesday, 3 October 2017

3.10.17 More on the Sanlúcar Fino Saga

The Manzanilleros of Sanlúcar see the recent revival by Fedejerez of the proposal to prohibit them from producing Fino - which they view it as a historic right - as an offensive against them. The matter was a late addition to the agenda of last week’s plenary meeting at the Consejo Regulador. While Fedejerez president Evaristo Babé firmly supports the proposal, the representative for Manzanilla, Barbadillo’s Víctor Vélez was equally firm in his rejection of it.

The proposal was hotly debated back in 2013, but while Fedejerez could have carried it with a simple majority, it was felt that this was not the way forward for such an important matter, and it was shelved. After January 2016, when bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, Juan Piñero and Sánchez Ayala discontinued their membership of Fedejerez due to continued complaints and accusations of the Manzanilleros by Babé, both in the media and at the Consejo, the only remaining representative of Manzanilla is Barbadillo.

Without their opinions being taken into account or even consulted, the bodegueros of Sanlúcar decided to form their own representative body The Professional Association of Artisan Bodegas of Sanlúcar. Against this background, the Manzanilleros see the Fedejerez proposal as a “purely business” one, while Fedejerez defends its proposal saying that the uniqueness of the DO Manzanilla de Sanlúcar and its production being exclusive to Sanlúcar can only be protected if at the same time Fino production is exclusive to Jerez and El Puerto de Santa María. (which would make it a matter for the EU).

The Sanluqueños reject this, and point to the fact that the proposal was revived just days after the constitution of the Mesa de la Manzanilla at the behest of Víctor Vélez, which cannot be a coincidence. Tension between Sanlúcar and Jerez has returned, although on this occasion the Manzanilla sector is much more united in protecting its interests within the Consejo and it has the support of the Junta, a representative of which was present at the constitution of the Mesa de la Manzanilla.

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