15,000 Viticulturists, almost 600 wineries and thousands of citizens of La Rioja, Álava and Navarra fear that the first quality brand created in Spain in 1925 is broken into another political battle. A "success mark", as Iñigo Torres General Director of the Rioja Group, who showed its extraordinary strength in 2020, the year that the pandemic examined the entire world economy.
The denomination of qualified origin (Doc) Rioja increased by 8.3% its exports with which it was able to minimize the hecatomb of the fall in sales of up to 40% of the product aimed at the Spanish hospitality. With an ambitious recovery plan, the regulatory council opposes the "threat" of a subdivision of the Rioja sponsored by the PNV to create an organ of own control in La Rioja Alavesa.
The PNV has reactivated its objective of controlling from the Basque Country the production of one of the most famous wines in the world. Next Tuesday, Congress will discuss admission to processing a regulatory change on the conditions of origin denominations that affect territories belonging to more than one autonomous community.
A regulatory change that Andoni Ortuzar's party commissioned Mikel Legarda, his most brilliant deputy and jurist who entrusted him to brush the previous agreement with Eh Bildu on a new sovereign Basque Statute. "It is an order to the Great," warns by the Regulatory Council, the body formed by viticulturists and winemakers and that since July 2020 has moved Rome with Santiago to prevent the reform that PNV intends to go ahead.
«Rioja is a value in which the three areas that integrate it are indispensable to understand a centennial project that is guided since its birth by the search for quality," says Torres who is also a Director of the Regulatory Council and member of the Interprofessional Organization From Rioja wine, the two organs that ensure the quality of wine and in its commercialization within a very competitive international market.
Almost 350,000 inhabitants from southern Álava, of La Rioja and southwest of Navarra live from a product that only on direct sale of wine exceeds 1,300 million euros but multiplies its influence on the gross domestic product (GDP) with very firm bets Like wine tourism (166 million revenues in 2019) and the entire industrial sector ranging from the manufacture of corks, bottles and machinery and vehicles that require both thousands of wine growers and the 600 wineries.
The territorial weight of the Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarra is not homogeneous nor the institutional positioning with respect to the controversy caused by the PNV initiative. According to the data of the 2020 regulatory council, the wineries located in the Community of La Rioja produced 186 million liters compared to 66 million liters prepared by Bodegas Alavesas and the 16 million Navarras wineries. A leadership of La Rioja that is also visualized in the grape provided to generate these wines since 288,000 tons were produced compared to 75,000 tons in Basque vineyards and the 46,000 tons of Navarras grapes.
The Model of Production and Manufacturing of Wine Rioja is meticulously controlled by the Regulatory Council that with up to 200 inspectors vigilates vintage, is present in the delivery of the grape by producers to the winemakers and monitors both the processing process and The bottling of the product with this certification. Sources of the sector warn that it is common for Bodegas Alavesas receive grape from both the high rioja and the East Rioja.
"The reform proposed by PNV does not make any sense, it is not a petition of the sector and have moved to parties and institutions that must respect the criteria of the legitimate owners of the Rioja brand that are the wine growers and the winemakers," warns Torres,. That he also endorsed last July the convolting statement presided over by Fernando Ezquerro against the Ardid activated by nationalists to take control of the future Basque Regulatory Council.
A reactivated initiative in full budgetary negotiation with the Government of Pedro Sánchez and after checking the importance of the Rioja brand after the stress test that meant a 2020 marked by the pandemic. A "negative" exercise, as recognized by the Director General of the José Luis Lapuente Regulatory Council but who visualized the importance of export (44% of sales) with countries such as the United Kingdom (one in three bottles sold outside Spain ), Germany and the United States as the main markets.
Lapuente, with 23 years of experience in the regulatory body, demends with data the virtuality of the great "umbrella" that is Rioja to
Thousands of wine growers and winemakers and their growth potential even in mature European markets. According to the consultant Wine Intelligence, he has become the sixth global brand of knowledge and fidelity in the world market and still 50% of German consumers has not discovered it.Updated Date: 24 November 2021, 20:39