«To the harvest, children, harvesters, To the harvest, child, go my loves. But with him I take care not to lose the leaves or clusters.»
In ‘La canción de los vendimiadores’, the great poet Miguel Hernández poured on the white sheet, turning purple of heart, his passion for wine and vintage. He dedicated some exquisite words to a fruit and its exquisite juice, a precious liquid that is still present today, in a preeminent way, in Spanish society, until it becomes a sector of vital economic, social and environmental importance. It is also fundamental for the development of rural Spain, a socially responsible and environmentally conscious activity.
WINE: AN UNDOUBTED SOCIAL AND CULTURAL VALUE
Spain oozes wine from time immemorial. It is part of a millenary tradition since the Phoenician people introduced it to the peninsula, back in 1100 B.C. and the first vineyards were organized in the north of Huelva, in the archaeological site of La Orden-Seminario. Thousands of years of history full of washed-up hands who have collected, as every September, the vines; who take care of the wineries where the wine is stored; who rely on their product to bring to the table that exquisite moment that goes from when we lift the cup from the table until the liquid is completely tasted. Stories of men and women who strengthen and prosper rural Spain.
Wine is one of the protagonists of our beloved Mediterranean diet, historically integrated into other essential ingredients such as olive oil and cereals. Different international programs, such as Wine in Moderation, promote moderate consumption of wine as a healthy food source. Science supports its moderate consumption, within a healthy lifestyle.
On the website of the national platform ‘The science of wine’, developed by the Foundation for the Culture of Wine and Nutrition (FIVIN) disseminates and analyzes studies and information on what moderate consumption of wine can contribute to our health.
Spanish wine transcends the object. It is not only an exquisite liquid that we pour into a glass and that we can take alone or in the company of exquisite appetizers and dishes. It is a way of life, part of the ‘Marca España’: numerous geographical points of our country breathe wine by its four sides, translating this presence in local festivals, in its heritage and cultural legacy.
WINE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Climate change is no stranger to wine. That is why the wine industry is committed to innovative solutions to reduce the effect of the carbon footprint, aware that they depend largely on climate conditions.
The sector is also very aware of the problem posed by the waste generated, such as sewage or organic elements such as pruning biomass, grape grounds and others. In this sense, the sector is already active in the use of these wastes, through the extraction of phytochemicals for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry and for the cultivation of microorganisms.
Organic vineyards are also important, accounting for 13.1% of the total area in Spain. This data makes our country in which has a greater expansion of ecological vineyard worldwide.
THE LEADERSHIP OF THE WINE SECTOR IN SPAIN AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYMENT
Some important data that highlight the great importance of the wine sector within the industrial and economic fabric of our country:
- Spain is the world leader in vineyards: more than 950,000 hectares. It is one of the three largest wine producers in the world alongside Italy and France.
- We have 101 wine designations of origin and 42 protected geographical indications.
- There are around 4000 companies involved in winemaking.
- Wine activity generates a GVA (Gross Value Added) of more than €23.7 billion: this represents 2.2% of national GDP
- It provides more than 427,700 jobs: 2.4% of all national employment.
- The wine sector extends its branches and encourages the creation of other related industries such as cork (97% of its production is destined to stoppers), wood for barrels, Glass bottles and plant protection and oenological products to guarantee the quality of production of the wines.
The next time you raise the glass of wine thinks that, with your act, you continue a tradition that keeps rural Spain alive, which contributes to employment and forms part of what we understand as ‘Marca España’. Wine is landscape. It is leadership and innovation. It is the engine of the economy. And it is a prime witness of emotional encounters, Endless talks and unforgettable meals from our healthy Mediterranean diet.
To finish, and returning to the great Miguel Hernández: «To the harvest, girls/ harvesters. /To the harvest, girl/it’s time.»