Some good news and bad news for wine lovers in Alicante

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WINE CONCERN: Next year’s crop could be leaving wine glasses empty if drought continues to affect the vines.

THE Regulatory Council for Denomination-protected Alicante Wines announced that 2015 was a good year for wine following tastings by a panel of experts, sommeliers and wine connoisseurs.

Although last summer was extremely dry, last year’s wines are “fresh with a tremendously versatile and interesting body,” according to Juan Huerta who headed the wine-tasting panel: “It’s even better than 2014 with optimum expectations for the vintage.”

Despite their satisfaction with the 2015 wine, Alicante winemakers are worried by the prolonged lack of rain. If this situation continues much longer, coming harvests will be affected, they predicted.

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Concern is not limited to Alicante Province or the Valencian Community but is also affecting Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia.

Vines need water, explained Jose Miguel Medina, president of the Valencia region’s Agrifoods Cooperatives: “If sufficient quantities fail to arrive, there could be a significant impact,” he said.

The region’s winemakers have not forgotten the 2014 drought when production fell by 30 per cent. “So far this year it has rained even less, which is a hazard as the majority of vines are grown on land without irrigation. Only 30 to 40 per cent of estates have back-up irrigation systems,” Medina said.

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