Spanishwinelover.com really do an excellent job and their coverage of the aforementioned manifesto is no exception. I think the manifesto is an incredibly important, and positive, development and I could not agree more with the aims expressed (you can see some of my own musings on uniqueness in jerez here and here).
Given its importance I take the liberty of reproducing the translation of the manifesto itself below but I recommend you look at the Spanishwinelover post to see the background, signatories and other details.
Spain boasts the richest biodiversity and the most varied landscapes in Europe but it also faces the greatest challenges in terms of environmental awareness and conservation. The world of wine is no exception.
The Spanish wine appellation system has proved effective in protecting geographical names and origin, but it has been oblivious to soil differentiation and levels of quality. Efforts have been aimed at turning our vineyards into the world’s biggest, not the best.
However, we have the history, the places and also the passion needed to make the most out of our exceptional crus and vineyards.
Deep changes are needed to boost our wine heritage and bring a sense of self-worth onto Spanish wine. It must be a global change for everyone involved, from producers to the authorities.
All the great wines in the world come from exceptional vineyards. That’s why the most revered wine regions have passed laws to defend and protect those unique sites.
We firmly believe that the best way to identify wines based on their origin, quality, identity and authenticity is by means of a pyramid-like structure. Wines made anywhere in the region would be at the base; village wines would be a step above while single-vineyard wines would be at the very top.
All producers will benefit from such a structure. Only by raising the bar and demanding ourselves more, will we be able to improve quality and explain Spain’s wine reality more accurately. It will also help to sell all kinds of wine better.
Therefore, we call upon the Regulatory Boards to be sensitive to the new wine reality that is emerging all over Spain and to approach a classification of the land in terms of quality. We are certain that establishing such distinctions is the first step towards excellence. Beyond emerging as an unstoppable trend, terroir wines are the best way to improve the quality of Spanish wines and achieve international recognition.
I really have never understood the resistance to going down this kind of path – surely the “volume” producers also benefit from the increased profile of their regions? In any event, bravo to all involved, I wish them good luck and I truly hope something can be done.