Two sides to a story!
This is Part Two of an article started last week, entitled ‘Land Grab’. It is archived here www.colinharknessonwine.com click Articles.
Señor Fernando Mora MW (http://bodegasfrontonio.com/ 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.clairemarie.es) – all for just 40€! Please e-mail email@example.com or call me on 629 388 159 to reserve your places!