THIS coming weekend will see the start of the prestigious wine festival in Binissalem, with Trademark councillor Margalida Amat saying yesterday that there's going to be less wine this year but what there is will be of a better quality.

Up to 10 quality wine houses will take part in what are known locally as the “Vermar” celebrations, all of whom recognise that this year's grape harvest was badly affected by copious rainfall in May and June which produced a type of mildew on the crop. The volume collected so far - some 1'300'000 kilos of grapes - amounts to only 50 percent of what it has been in the past. There are however some varieties, said Amat, that have remained relatively undamaged by the rains, such as Chardonnay. Antoni Pons of the Binissalem fairs organisation committee said that the aim of the event is to broaden consumption of wine amongst people living on Majorca. He was supported by regional Agriculture director Antoni Perello who said government would do all it could to support local products.