Christmas is around the corner and the municipality of Vinalopó's table grapes will once again take the spotlight, as they will be needed for the Spanish tradition dictating that 12 "lucky" grapes must be eaten to say goodbye to the year, one with each bell strike. At the moment, the latest bagged Vinalopó Aledo grapes are being harvested and will be shipped next week.
"Unlike last year, when there was a considerable production of bagged Aledo grapes for New Year's Eve, this season production will be 40% lower," says Miriam Cutillas, of Uvasdoce's Marketing Department. She attributes the decline mainly to a change in the vine's cycle, as after a year with great harvest volumes, productivity usually drops the following year.
Nevertheless, "the fact that fewer kilos are produced also results in better quality grapes," affirms Miriam. "The quality is unbeatable this year."
"Given that demand will skyrocket in the coming days by buyers who only demand grapes for New Year's Eve, and given the significant drop in productivity, we will be unable to cover all demand, because we'll give priority to the customers who purchase our products all year round. Prices are therefore above average compared to last season, although lower than expected," she points out. "We will also not be able to export the same volumes to France and Italy as in previous years."
About 2 million kilos of grapes will be consumed on New Year's Eve alone, with the Aledo from Vinalopó as the most popular and sought after for its small grain size, its attractive colour and thin skin, even though it is more expensive than other varieties, like the Dominga, which has a more elongated grain and less attractive orange colour. This variety is mostly grown in Murcia and has been harvested and in cold storage for a longer period of time.
With regard to seedless varieties, at the moment Uvasdoce is importing grapes from Brazil and South Africa, although less than in previous years due to high prices. "Prices of imported seedless grapes have been exorbitant and many supermarket chains have chosen not to buy them," she states.
According to Miriam, in Italy, just like in Spain, demand is also on the rise for grapes throughout the Christmas period, and not just for New Year's Eve night, as it is very commonly given as a gift when invited to dinners. "In fact, we have packaging labelled in Italian, with the most popular being the plastic cup full of grapes."
Uvasdoce is once again collaborating with the Spanish Association Against Cancer with special 1 kilo packs, with a guarantee that 10% of the revenue generated by their sales will go to research for cancer prevention.
For more information:
Estrella Miralles (Sales Director)
M: +34 655225286
Miriam Cutillas (Marketing Manager)
M: +34 659670964
Ctra. Monforte-Agost km. 6.9
Partida de las Norias nº 188, Spain
T: +34 965 620 125