It was seen coming and in the end it has ended up being confirmed. The wine sector in the province of Alicante is going to have to face its new campaign with a drop in production of close to 10% as a result of the strong temperatures that the vineyards have had to endure. The panorama at a commercial level is not too rosy either, given that after a good summer brought about by the tourist recovery, everything points to consumption is going to suffer significantly in the coming months because of inflation that continues to run wild and also because of the recession that is affecting markets such as the United States.
The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Alicante Wines celebrated this Monday the start of its 90 harvest, an act that has taken place on a farm in Villena, where the regulatory council has brought together winegrowers, wineries and various institutions. Among those present were the regional secretaries of Agriculture and Landscape, Roger Llanes and Inma Orozco respectively; the deputy for Promotion and Local Development, Sebastián Cañadas; the president of the council itself, José Juan Reus; and representatives of the municipalities of Villena, Pinoso, Salinas and Cañada.
This year’s will be a campaign marked by a decrease in production of 1.4 million liters, so the final volume of the 45 wineries integrated in the PDO will remain at 12.6 million. The heat has been what has meant that in some areas the grapes have not reached the right size. The high temperatures are also behind the early harvest this year, since the fruit has ripened earlier. The positive fact is that the quality will be very high, especially in the star variety of the province, such as the Monastrell, which has reached an optimum point.
However, what most worries the sector at the moment is the evolution that sales may continue in the coming months. The sector promised them very happy this summer, since the recovery of tourism has strongly pulled national consumption and there were prospects that last year’s figures could be exceeded, when, with a turnover of 34 million euros, the records from before the pandemic were recovered. However, the omens are much more negative for this fall that is starting now.
This is indicated by the manager of the PDO, Eladio Martín Aniorte, who highlights that “inflation is affecting the purchasing power of consumers and, therefore, this could translate into a decrease in wine purchases.” The war in Ukraine, on the other hand, has generated a climate of uncertainty at the international level which, moreover, has established the recession in some markets, as is the case of the United States. Bodegas Pinoso is a powerful exporter to this country, and its commercial director, Miguel Ángel Díaz, already warns that sales in North American territory are not being as fluid as they were in the first half of the year.
Andrés Carull, director of the Vinessens winery in Villena, also refers to the uncertainty, as well as the increase in production costs, which are not being fully passed on to customers, for which business margins have been shrinking.
In this context, and as Aniorte explains, the sector would already be satisfied with equaling the turnover achieved last year, waiting to see how events evolve. The representative of the PDO, likewise, has once again emphasized the need to continue promoting the consumption of wines from Alicante in the provincehighlighting the fundamental role that bars and restaurants can play in this regard, including them in their menus and offering them to diners.
The humorist Jorge Cremades, godfather of the grape harvest
The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Vinos de Alicante has named the Alicante humorist Jorge Cremades godfather of this year’s harvest. The young actor has proceeded to the symbolic cutting of the Monastrell grape at the Villena estate that has hosted the act, an appointment in which a minute of silence has also been observed for the death of the Eldense soprano Ana María Sánchez, who was godmother in 2010 .