Consumers look for more specificity when they purchase wine, and the change has been requested for over a year by the hundreds of grape growers who signed a petition to favor quality. After an overhaul of the Reserva and Gran Reserva categories, which will go into effect in 2019, the denomination’s control board approved a second step in its 2020 strategic plan, introducing the option for producers to indicate a single vineyard on their labels. This modification meets the demands of export markets which have increased steadily over seven years, from 339 million euros in 2010 to 503.6 million in 2016 (+1.8% over 2015, at an average price of 4.32 euros/liter), gaining on the great international denominations, including Italy, according to a recent Nielsen-OeMv study.
Hand-harvesting, yields 20% smaller than that fixed by regulations, complete traceability of the product, and double quality control (physical- chemical and sensory) before release are some of the requirements set in place by the Consejo Regulador. The board is also examining the use of added geographical mentions on labels. Another market-driven item is the introduction, for the first time, of bottle-fermented sparkling wine, both white and rosé. For the oldest Spanish DOP, and the country’s best known wine brand around the world, this amounts to important repositioning. The denomination has made a contribution to large retailer and HORECA increases in wine consumption seen all over Spain, +4.1% in volume and +7.8% in value in 2016.