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Ribera del Duero awaits appellation upgrade

Spain's Ribera del Duero region is set to receive upgraded status to Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa) in 2008.

Upon being awarded DOCa certification, the northern region will join the ranks of Rioja and Priorat – the only other two regions to currently hold this status.

The DOCa, or DOC, is a step up from the more widespread DO (Denominacion de Origen) label which regulates grape varieties, yields, alcohol levels and production methods

‘We need this for the international markets recognize this high standard,’ said German Munoz of the Consejo Regulador, the Spanish regulatory authority.

When approved, all of the region’s vineyards will be registered and inspections of those vineyards will increase. The upgraded status will cover the rosé wines of the area as well as the more common and exported reds.

Producers however have mixed views, saying they welcome the increased status, but voiced worries over the prospect of further bureaucracy the upgrade would entail.

’This development is good for achieving a global marketing position but the likely standardization from this is frustrating,’ said Alejandro Moyano of Pagos del Infante. ‘We need less, not more, direction and need to have more flexibility within the rules.’

Peter Sisseck of iconic Dominio de Pingus agreed.

‘I’ve never needed regulations to sell my wines,’ he said.

Written by David Furer

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