This year, the emblematic act of cutting the first bunch of Uva Embolsada del Vinalopó with Protected Designation of Origin (D.O.P.), in its twenty-ninth edition, has been held in La Romana, one of the seven municipalities covered by the D.O.P. The first bunch of the 2018 campaign has been cut by Elena Cebrián Calvo, Minister of Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change and Rural Development, who was accompanied by the President of the PDO Regulatory Council, José Bernabeu, the speaker. guest, María José San Román, Michelin star for her Monastrell restaurant, María Teresa Cháfer, General Director of Rural Development and PAC and the Diputación de Fomento de Diputación de Alicante, Sebastián Cañada.
Next, all the attendees have left for the House of Culture of the host town. Nelson Romero, mayor of La Romana, has been commissioned to open this event, stressing that it is “of promotion and recognition of the effort that farmers make in our municipalities” and that it is also one of the “most important economic engines”.
The following speech was for José Bernabéu, President of the Regulatory Council of the Protected Designation of Origin of Uva Embolsada del Vinalopó, who pointed out that these almost 30 years of existence “would have been difficult to achieve had it not been for the support of those who are part of the sector and also of the institutions “. During his speech he showed the discomfort generated by the “strong storm of August 16 that affected Novelda and especially Monforte del Cid”. These are specific events that “should lead us to reflect on the need to contract agricultural insurance”.
He also mentioned the different characteristics that make this grape have a Protected Designation of Origin, highlighting the bagging technique, a “tradition that began in 1919 Manuel Bonmatí Abad” and that after almost 100 years has become a hallmark for the Vinalopó area. He also recalled that since March, the seat of the Council is in Monforte del Cid and has made mention of the scarcity of water resources suffered by the area, which has been alleviated in some way thanks to the economic backing of the Generalitat, that will allow to maintain the “12,000 direct jobs that the sector produces” the sector and the “100 million kilos that it exports and that generate wealth and well-being”.
The presenter of the event, Jesus Ayala, has listed the actions to promote the product that the Regulatory Council, with the support of the Generalitat Valenciana and the support of the Provincial Council of Alicante, will develop through the campaign. These include investment in posters, brochures and information dossiers worldwide; the improvement in terms of positioning on social networks; the imminent launch of a new web page; the presentation of the name of the winner of the II Poster Competition of the PDO, betting on the talent of the students of our Province; continue being the sponsors of the Golf Tournament “Uva de Mesa Embolsada Vinalopo”, which is celebrated in Monforte del Cid and celebrates the 15th edition; and, finally, the studies related to the environmental and economic impacts of the bagging technique in the territory by researchers from the Departments of Agro-environmental Economics, Applied Biology and Plant Production and Microbiology of the Higher Polytechnic School of Orihuela de la UMH with the impulse of the Regulatory Council.
For his part, the Deputy for Development, Sebastian Cañadas, has read a speech in the form of numbers in which he has highlighted the 9,000 direct jobs generated by this sector, as well as the 3,000 jobs indirectly to which the institution will continue supporting as they have done “in the last 13 years” towards “one of our Mediterranean gems” with “more than € 200,000”.
The final touch of this act has been made by the Councilor for Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change and Rural Development, Elena Cebrián, who has thanked the invitation to be part of this act since its inception, which has given the possibility of living “A moment with a certain emotion in which you cut the grapes and feel the weight, the freshness … That’s what it’s worth and what we have to convey to everyone”. His words have saved a special mention for farmers, “who work in the chain from the first moment in the field until the consumer is taken” since “they get this product to be differentiated and emblematic for Spanish agriculture”. From the Conselleria “we support this crop and these regions of Alicante to recover landscapes that have much of what we have been throughout history.”
The DOP in figures
The Denomination of Origin Grape of Table Embolsada of the Vinalopó includes the municipal terms of Agost, Aspe, Hondón de los Frailes, Hondón de las Nieves, Monforte del Cid, Novelda and La Romana. Currently, the area devoted to the cultivation of table grapes registered under the DO amounts to 2,124 hectares of different varieties.
The sector of the table grape of the Comunitat Valenciana as a whole (including the grape covered by the DO) has exported between January and June 2018 a total of 4.9 million euros, which represents 18.7% of the total national exported, with an increase of 48.5% over the same period of 2017.
As for the destination of production, the national market buys 59% of the grapes, 40% goes to the European Union (mainly France, Italy and Germany) and the rest is sent to customers from non-EU countries.