Biniagual Vineyard in Binissalem claims that lack of Government aid is forcing it to shut down.
For the last two years it has supplied Majorcan vineyards with a variety of native native grape plants its closure leaves the Sector with no guaranteed supply of the white varieties gorgollasa, turned ross and moll for at least a year.
In 2017, winemakers were banned from taking plants in or out of the Balearic Islands because of the Xylella Fastidiosa outbreak. Before that they used to send their material to nurseries in Navarra who made the grafts, planted the seedlings, then returned them to Majorca for replanting.
The Navarran company Viveros Villanueva was in charge of the Biniagual vineyard, which required the periodic transfer of machinery and specialist personnel from Navarra to keep it in optimal condition. That slapped a 40 cent increase on the unit price compared to what was charged with the original method, as well as a decrease in quality.
"The Government promised us on two occasions that there would be aid available to compensate for the extra costs and twice it has not fulfilled that promise," says Pepe López del Olmo, Representative of Viveros Villanueva in Majorca.
"The company did everything to help the winemakers of Majorca in a very complicated situation and was creating a reputation, while another company that cloned some indigenous varieties Mallorca in Navarra was taking advantage,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture claims that "the new team has not received any formal request for assistance in this regard and does not subsidise prices.”
It also says it's planning to import cloned plants from Navarre as an alternative, but the problem is that the fields in Navarre there are grafts of mother plants from a clonal selection made in 2014, before the arrival of Xylella, but not all of the varieties needed by the Sector.
Both Viveros Villanueva and Vitis Navarra confirm that they can supply Montallegro, Callet and Malvasia this season but not other varieties such as Gorgollasa, Giró Ros and Moll.
Vitis Navarra says it could supply the first plants of these varieties in 2021 and Viveros Villanueva in 2022.
Pepe López del Olmo acknowledges that much of the Sector is not yet aware of the decision to close the Biniagual vineyard and there’s growing concern amongst those who will not be able to meet their planting schedule.