Tuesday, January 31

The Tempranillo grape, the main variety planted in Spain, but not in Extremadura

A harvester during the harvest at dawn in Arroyo de San Serván. / WHITE ANGEL

The region, for its part, has found its most planted variety in pardina -19,735 hectares of white-, with a weaker red market

The Ministry of Agriculture has disclosed in its report on the authorizations granted in 2021 and the potential for wine production -as of July 31, 2021- which have been the main grape varieties planted in Spain. The main one, at a national level, has been the Tempranillo grape, which unseats the Airén for the first time. Extremadura, for its part, has found its most widely planted variety in pardina -19,735 hectares of white-, with a weaker red market.

Although it is true that the second most planted variety has been the Tempranillo grape -18,839 hectares of red-, almost all the other varieties are white, such as the Cayetana Blanca -11,842 hectares- or the Macabeo -7,867 hectares-, among others.

“We could say – explains Diego Nieto, manager of Romale – that, approximately, we are in a 75% white vineyard and 25% red”. The latter, he points out, has been starting up in recent years. «Working in red is more laborious than a white vineyard. And white productions are around 7,000 kg per hectare. Sometimes, it does not even reach 3,000 kg/ha in red. In addition, tinder disease affects much more », he assures.

“We have been in crisis for three years”

Catalina García, regional secretary for Wine at UPA-UCE Extremadura and president of the Federation of Rural Women’s Associations (FADEMUR) in the region, asserts that winegrowers in Extremadura are returning to white wine. But why? «With the first restructurings it became fashionable to carry red grapes. However, since not much has been paid and they have less production, White has prevailed. Everything is according to what the market is marking.

García considers that it is not a matter of meteorology or land, but of the market. «Yes, it is true that we have our varieties, such as the pardina and the cayetana, white, which are very adapted to Extremadura, they are historical. We adapt to everything in viticulture, but we are not heroes, we have to live. If you don’t pay for quality, you have to go to production. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is, even though we have more and more”, something Diego Nieto also agrees with: “The quality of the red wines this harvest has been really exceptional”.

Likewise, Catalina García underlines that they have been “in crisis for three years” and that they cannot continue like this: “Few predictions, low prices, droughts… It is a worrying situation. In addition to prohibitions or obstacles that seem to come from Europe. You have to be convinced that wine is a food product », she argues.

“We have quality, we do our homework very well. But we have to keep fighting and we cannot consent to these prices. We have to claim that the law of the chain works and also that, as soon as possible, we have the market reference prices. We cannot sell below production.”


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