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Published:  23 July, 2008

A call for the creation of a new Spanish national appellation - Vinos de la Tierra de Espaa - came from the Federacin Espaola del Vino (FEV), the organisation representing 900 bodegas, at its annual general meeting in Madrid on 26 March. The proposal was strongly supported by new FEV president Pedro Oyarzbal, director of wine for Allied Domecq (Europe), who described the initiative as one of the priorities in promoting exports'. The plan has the support of ICEX, the generic organisation responsible for exports, but has still to win over some sectors of the Spanish trade, and would require legal recognition. According to FEV, the advantages of the new appellation would be the emphasis on Spain as a whole (a high priority) and the ability to list the grape variety and vintage on the label. FEV believes that while the drive to boost exports (which were up 10% by volume in 2001/02) should focus on Spanish identity, the efforts of both Vinos de la Tierra de Espaa and brands to halt the long-term slump in domestic sales (down 4.6% by volume) should revolve around promoting wine as part of a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle.