The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environmental Affairs (MAPAMA), Isabel García Tejerina, highlighted that the latest figures over 12 months to June 2017 point to a record year for wine exports, at 2.71 billion euros, rising to 3.01 billion when taking into consideration grape juice, aromatised wines and vinegar, all with increased average prices per litre.
Isabel García Tejerina and the President of the Regional Government of Castile and Leon, Juan Vicente Herrera, inaugurated the new Ramón Bilbao winery, in Rueda (Valladolid). The event was also attended by the Chairman of Ramón Bilbao Wineries, the Managing Director of the Zamora Group, the President of the Provincial Council of Valladolid, the Mayor of Rueda, the Government Representative of Castile and Leon and the Secretary General for Agriculture and Food of MAPAMA, among others.
During the inauguration, Isabel García Tejerina highlighted the long tradition and strong economic repercussion of the Rueda denomination of origin on the region. Specifically, there are 13,529 hectares registered, 1,478 wine growers and 68 wineries. This is one of the 12 denominations of origin of Castile and Leon (five of which are in Valladolid) which, in total, cover more than 76,000 hectares of vines (8% of the total planted in Spain), which makes it the third most extensive region in terms of surface area.
In this regard, the minister stressed that wine forms part of a strategic sector for Spain, which has the most extensive surface area of vines in the world (960,000 hectares), with quality wine production headed up by the 131 denominations of origin and protected geographical indications. With these figures, Spain stands as the leading exporter in the world in terms of volume.
Support programme for wine sector
Against this backdrop, Isabel García Tejerina highly valued the application made by the wine sector of EU resources through support programmes. These resources have been employed to perform a far-reaching re-structuring and overhaul of the sector, as well as to push through promotion and investment actions that are proving to be highly beneficial for companies operating in the sector.
By way of example, under the 2014-2018 Support Programme, 1,628 investment projects have been approved, with eligible investment of 834 million euros. She also pointed out that 4,300 promotional campaigns have been implemented in third countries, with more than 266 million euros of EAGF (European Agricultural Guarantee Fund) aid between 2008 and 2016.
The minister also explained that, according to the figures from the MAPAMA Food Consumption Panel, per capita consumption in households rose in 2016 by 2.4% in number of litres, and 7.8% in total expense. Furthermore, the global turnover of wine exported grew by 2.8% over 12 months to March 2017. In Castile and Leon, the first half of 2017 was excellent, with a 20.8% increase in the volume of exports and 14.5% in value.
On another note, Isabel García Tejerina stressed the “wonderful example of dynamic investment” of the new Ramón Bilbao winery, by means of which the Zamora Group has taken yet another step in its efforts to create and develop premium brands in its different categories.
The minister also highlighted the commitment from the Ramón Bilbao Wineries to innovation and the application of new technologies during the entire wine production process.