Several winemakers in the Balearics have applied for State aid. | Teresa Ayuga


Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on winegrowers in Majorca and around 26 who have vineyards in the Register of Designation of Origin in Pla i Llevant and Binissalem will not harvest their grapes this year.

That translates into 124.35 hectares less production for next season, or 18.2% of the total hectares registered in the two DOs.

The paralysis of tourist activity and closure of restaurants on the island caused a slump in wine sales in Majorca and in the rest of the country.

Last June, the Ministry of Agriculture launched a series of grants for the Sector.

One of them is the so-called ‘green harvest’, which is when the farmers collect the grapes while they’re still green and discard them. In return, the Ministry of Agriculture pays the producers 60% of the average value of the grape, plus compensation.

In Majorca this translates into a subsidy of about 3,600 euros for every hectare discarded, so the Ministry will pay 454,173.45 euros for the 26 Wine Producers with Denomination of Origin who've requested a ‘green harvest’.

9 other wineries in the Archipelago have applied for state aid to store their wine.

This measure involves storing the wine in barrels, not bottles, for a certain period of time. The Central Government will subsidise this at 0.40 cents per litre stored for wine with Denomination of Origin and 0.30 cents for wines with Protected Geographical Identification, or PGI, such as the well-known 'Vi de la Terra’.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, 9 applications for storage aid have been received for 11,649.11 DO and 1,895 PGI.

This means a total of 1,354,411 litres will be stored and Government aid will amount to 82,250.82 euros. Between the two lines of aid, the Government will allocate 536,424.27 euros to the Island Sector.

Unió de Pagesos General Secretary, Sebastià Ordines, has acknowledged that the Ministry's contribution to the Balearic Wine Sector is considerable.

"In total we will receive 5% of all aid in Spain and the highest subsidy per hectare in the country," he said.

Ordines paid tribute to the mediation work carried out by the Ministry, but stressed that there is deep concern amongst winemakers about the steep decline in sales.

The DO has also called for more public aid for the Sector.