Despite increased demand for white wines, the Spanish DO Rueda suffers from too much growth in its vineyard area. In the region dominated by the Verdejo grape variety, the area under cultivation has doubled within a decade. According to the ASAJA union, the high investments by large wineries are to blame for the current imbalance between supply and demand, which puts small producers at a disadvantage. The long shelf life of the wines further aggravates the situation. The union appeals to the government to introduce green harvesting. The affected area is between 2,000 and 2,500 of the total 14,0000 hectares. The winegrowers should be supported for this with budget funds of between seven and eight million euros.
The DO Rioja is also currently suffering from sales difficulties and high stock levels. Agriculture Minister Luis Planas is countering the demands for state-funded green harvesting and crisis distillation with a 23 million euro government programme for research and innovation. The Ennoregion programme includes various projects to improve grape quality, sustainability and precision agriculture in Rioja.
(al / source: vitisphere; photo: Wikimedia commons)