ALICANTE province’s winemakers have won a 10-year battle with their Valencian counterparts.
The Supreme Court has ruled Valencia’s bodegas may not use grapes grown in Alicante or Utiel-Requena if they wish to retain their own protected Designation of Origin (DOP) label.
Utiel-Requena is located in Valencia province but has its own DOP label, putting its grapes off-limits for Valencian wines.
The Supreme court ruling automatically annulled a verdict from the Valencian Community’s Upper Court of Justice that in 2019 ruled against Alicante and Utiel-Requena retaining their own DOP labels.
Much earlier, both areas joined forces in opposing attempts by the regional government of the day to group all the region’s wines under the Valencia label in 2011.
They bitterly opposed a measure that erased their own DOP status going back to 1932, two of the oldest in Spain.
Between them Alicante and Utiel-Requena vineyards occupy 44,500 hectares of land. Most belong to family-run bodegas cultivating traditional Monastrell and Muscatel grapes and the Bobal variety allegedly introduced by the Romans.
Not only Alicante winemakers have a vested interest in protecting and promoting their wines, as Marina Alta mayors met last month in Jalon to sign a manifesto defending the local muscatel for its value as a wine as well as its archaeological and environmental importance.