Cava, in crisis, moves to limit production

Grape yields for Cava production are to fall by double digit numbers, to limit production. Barnaby Eales has the story.

Javier Pagés, chairman, Cava DO/Barnaby Eales
Javier Pagés, chairman, Cava DO/Barnaby Eales

Grape yields for Cava production in Spain are to be cut by almost 17% this year, the Cava DO regulatory body has announced. Maximum yields will be reduced from 12,00 kilos per hectare to 10,000 kilos per hectare for the 2020 vintage, the Cava DO said.

It said the ‘historic’ move to limit production was to reduce the impact of the coronavirus and the imbalance between supply and demand for Cava, which has triggered grape prices to fall by €0.50 ($0.55) per kilo – to as little as €0.30 per kilo over the past two years. 

Javier Pagés, chairman of the Cava DO regulatory body said: “The measures are intended to help mitigate the large imbalance between supply and demand.” 

“Our obligation is to try to reverse the situation, since it would be irresponsible to continue increasing production, which would further depress the prices of grapes and Cava base wines,” Pages added in a statement issued on May 27th.

“The measures will help Cava find a balance in supply and demand and we hope will lead to a return of grape prices to beyond €0.50 per kilo,” Joan Santó, head of wine at grower union Unió de Pagesos told Meininger’s.

The measures may not be enough. Damia Deas, chairman of the Institut del Cava business group, told Reuters news agency today that he predicted a fall in Cava sales of between 25% and 40% this year as result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Further help for the cava industry, which has been hit by temporary lay-offs, is expected to come this year from the Catalan authorities and the Spanish government which is preparing a  €85m euro package for Spain’s wine industry to deal with the impact of the pandemic.
 

Barnaby Eales

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