Two sides to a story!

Costa Levante News - - WINE AND DINE -

This is Part Two of an ar­ti­cle started last week, en­ti­tled ‘Land Grab’. It is archived here www.col­in­hark­nes­son­ click Ar­ti­cles.

Señor Fernando Mora MW (http://bode­gas­fron­to­ en/the-team/) was most help­ful when I asked him his opin­ion about the ap­par­ent at­tempt by DO Va­len­cia to list the vine­yards of DOs Ali­cante and Utiel-Re­quena as theirs. He also ex­plains that, if this were to go ahead, it would be sim­i­lar to the generic AOC Bordeaux, a large area where wines can be la­belled ‘ Bordeaux’ but are con­sid­ered lesser wines than those from the fa­mous ar­eas within, such as AOC Pomerol et al.

He goes on to say that in this case DO Va­len­cia would also be like DO Catalunya, which is a large area that takes in all of the cur­rent DOs

(Penedés, Tar­rag­ona, Montsant, Cava etc), which con­tinue to work in­de­pen- dently, as well as some smaller mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that make wine as well.

Señor Mora MW ends by not­ing that for ev­ery bot­tle of wine that has a DO name on the la­bel, the DO re­ceives €1! So, over to DO Va­len­cia! Ap­par­ently, it was in fact DO Utiel-Re­quena in 1995 and DO Ali­cante in 2001 who asked if their vine­yards could be listed un­der DO Va­len­cia. This, I am told, is be­cause, at that time, they were not able to ful­fil the re­quire­ment that in or­der to be a DO, 50% of pro­duc­tion has to be ‘com­mer­cialised’. I am also told that this is still the case to­day. The fig­ures I have been quoted, if ac­cu­rate, do con­firm this.

DO Va­len­cia ad­vised that these other two DOs within the ge­o­graph­i­cal area of Va­len­cia in 2011 pe­ti­tioned the courts against some­thing that they had ear­lier sought, and been given (in 1995 and 2001 re­spec­tively), and de­nounced DO Va­len­cia at the same time! The courts de­cided in favour of DO Va­len­cia.

Re­cently the two DOs Ali­cante and Utiel-Re­quena, work­ing in tan­dem, have ap­pealed to the Tri­bunal. We are all await­ing the out­come – the case con­tin­ues!

Con­fused? So am I, and I’m left won­der­ing if it is re­ally much ado about nothing!

Essen­tially, DO Va­len­cia in­sists that it is not they who wish to change things. Since 1995 and 2001 re­spec­tively the vine­yard ar­eas of DOs Utiel-Re­quena and Ali­cante have of­fi­cially been part of DO Va­len­cia.

Also as men­tioned last week, it is not un­usual for a larger geo- graph­i­cal area to have an over­all DO, but in­clude within it, other smaller DOs. There is ‘pre­vi­ous’:

Bordeaux is men­tioned above, but also there is generic Bur­gundy wine, as well as the fa­mous smaller AOCs within. DO Vinho do Porto and DO Vinho do Douro share exactly the same ge­o­graph­i­cal area in Por­tu­gal. In Spain, DO Uclés shares its whole ter­ri­tory with DO La Man­cha. The sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion in Cataluña was men­tioned last week and, much nearer to home, Re­quena, the vil­lage, is in­cluded in DO UtielRe­quena as well as in DO Cava and DO Va­len­cia!

Well, for me, the im­por­tance is that each area of pro­duc­tion is al­lowed to keep its own wine iden­tity, no mat­ter what it is ac­tu­ally called. I’ve writ­ten ad­mir­ingly many times about wines from all three DOs, for ex­am­ple:

The won­der­ful whites only of Clos Cor Vi, and the su­per reds and whites, with the oc­ca­sional rosado thrown in, of all 12 or 13 bode­gas within the Ter­res dels Al­forins group – to name but a few, all DO Va­len­cia!

The out­stand­ing wines of my friend Felix at Bode­gas Vera de Este­nas; also those making all the head­lines at the mo­ment from Bode­gas His­pano Suizas; and the Do­minio de la Vega port­fo­lio – again, but a few, this time from DO UtielRe­quena!

And who can for­get any of the wines made by Pepe Men­doza at the win­ery his fa­ther En­rique started; also, at 95 Peñin points El Se­qué (soon to be the sub­ject of Cork Talk!); plus Bode­gas Casa Si­cilia, Sierra Norte, No­dus et al – from DO Ali­cante.

My ad­vice to the three DOs in this present con­flict is that they read my archived ar­ti­cle ‘DO’s Demise in Spain’ – and then please stop bick­er­ing and get on with what you all do so very well!

PS We have a few seats left for our 2017’s fi­nal Mu­si­cal Din­ner with Paired Wines, Satur­day 25th Novem­ber at Mo­raira’s Bella Dama Restau­rant, Club Nau­tico. Four cour­ses each paired with a dif­fer­ent, fine wine, plus the beau­ti­ful mu­sic of Claire-Marie (www.claire­ – all for just 40€! Please e-mail colin@col­in­hark­nes­son­ or call me on 629 388 159 to re­serve your places!

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