Wine cooperatives located in the Spanish municipalities of Chiclana, Chipiona and Trebujena – production-only areas of the sherry region – have demanded unanimously to be allowed to bottle their wines as Jerez-Xérès-Sherry DO.
The new proposal has the objective to make working the vineyards in Chiclana, Chipiona and Trebujena more profitable and to find a replacement for the high number of increasingly ageing growers by making the sector attractive to the younger generation.
Currently, only the wineries located within the so-called ‘sherry triangle’, ie the three main municipalities of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, may label their wines as Jerez-Xérès-Sherry DO. Contrarily, any wine bottled outside the sherry triangle, even if produced within the appellation boundaries, isn’t granted DO status and must be labelled as Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz or as simple table wine. The absence of the world-renowned sherry brand from the label translates into low margins for winegrowers and a much reduced appeal to both the national and international markets.
‘[The current] system does not make sense because all producers have to comply with the same requirements established in the DO regulations,’ said Francisco Lorenzo Gallegos, president of the wine department of the Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias of Cádiz.
There are seven wine cooperatives within the Jerez-Xérès-Sherry DO. Three of them are located in the sherry triangle (Cooperativa Nuestra Señora de las Angustias, Virgen de la Caridad, and Vitivinícola Sanluqueña – Covisan), and four are in the production-only municipalities of Chiclana, Chipiona and Trebujena (Católico Agrícola, Agrícola Virgen de Palomares, Vitivinícola Albarizas, and Unión de Viticultores Chiclaneros). Altogether, they represent the interests of around 3,000 growers and a staggering 3,000ha of land – nearly half of the entire sherry acreage.