Friday, December 17, 2010

Must get the grapes in

On New Year's Eve about one and half million kilos of grapes from the Alicante region of Vinalopó will be consumed as the clocks strike the 12 hours of midnight.

Unfortunately, this year’s crop of grapes is drastically below that expected because of the hail which fell in this region last May which destroyed 70 percent" of the crop. The initial forecast for this year was set at 43 million kilos.

The reduction has had a disastrous effect on the labour market. In 2009, 10,000 workers were employed to pick the crop, this year, they only need 5,000. Bear in mind that harvesting is all done by hand; the clusters are picked one by one directly from the vines and are kept separate until the time of packaging. Each cluster of grapes then carries the tag “Uva Embolsada del Vinalopó con Denominación de Origen” to certify the quality and provenance.

The main growing areas are Aspe, Hondón de las Nieves, Hondón de los Frailes, Monforte del Cid, Novelda, La Romana and Agost..

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