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Rioja agrees to ring-fence its productive potential through to 2021


Rioja agrees to ring-fence its productive potential through to 2021


– The Rioja Wine Interprofessional Organisation and the Control Board have approved a new plant mass growth agreement, estimating the possible growth of its productive potential in the 2019-2021 period.

– As a conservative measure, and in view of the current situation, it has been agreed that the established area should be planted in 2020, as well as recommending that no planting authorisations should be granted in 2019, having agreed that the protected production yield for that year should be 101% of the figure established in the Designation Specifications, and the grape-to-wine ratio, 71%.

– Once again it was agreed to prevent the plant mass from being increased by replanting resulting from grubbed-up vineyards outside the Designation or through the conversion of rights that also arise outside the region.

– It was also decided to set the maximum acceptable area per beneficiary at one hectare in future apportionments and to report favourably, with the same mandatory purpose and only for natural persons, if the applicant has been working under the Farmers’ Social Security Scheme for two of the last five years.

– The purpose of the agreement is to continue to safeguard the continuity of Rioja’s sustainable development model, as opposed to the imbalance that would be caused by unlimited access to planting next year.


As of today’s date, with a view to the deadline of 31 October, the wine industry has approved a new plant mass growth agreement that is intended to limit the increase of its productive potential through to 2021, estimating what would be the possible growth over the next three years.


For each of the years between 2019 and 2012, the agreement estimates an increase in productive potential of 396 hectares per year (0.6%, based on the potential determined on 31 July 2018, i.e. 65,971 hectares), which could amount to up to 528 hectares if an increase is reached, comparing the first eight months of 2019 with the same period this year, of 5.5 million litres (0.8% of the 65,971 hectares) or 660 hectares (1% of the total) in the event that sales were to rise by a minimum of 11 million litres.


However, as a conservative measure, plant mass growth will be limited to 0.1 hectares in 2019, in addition to which, the production yields and grape-to-wine ratios would be set at 101% and 71% respectively.


Once again, it was agreed to prevent any other ways of increasing plant mass by restricting authorisations for replanting vineyards that were outside the DOCa Rioja production area, as well as authorizations for vineyard plantations resulting from the conversion of planting rights from outside the Designation’s production area.


With the aim of achieving a more socially acceptable and equitable distribution of land, the sector has decreed that the total plantations of the previously-agreed hectares should go ahead, in addition to those already agreed upon for the 2016-2018 period, either by the owners they benefit or through new authorizations, in 2020, the central year of the period.


It was decided for this apportionment that each beneficiary will be entitled to a maximum area of one hectare and, by the same token, it was agreed to report favourably on the requirement, for natural persons only, that the applicant must have been working under the Farmers’ Social Security Scheme for at least two years within the five-year period leading up to the application.


As an additional feature, with the aim of improving the value of Rioja wines, it was agreed to put together a study that would set forth a definition of the technical criteria for the ‘unsuitability’ of certain lands in which new vineyard plantations within the scope of the Designation would not be permitted.


According to Fernando Salamero, president of the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja, these new measures “are intended to guarantee regulated growth of the plant mass in the entire Region in order to meet market demands while at the same time satisfying industry stakeholders. This new agreement stems from the sole objective of continuing to safeguard the continuity of Rioja’s sustained development model in view of the threat that unrestricted access to planting would pose.”