The focus is upon a new series of back label additions which will be:
- Viticultor – Elaborador: viticulturist/winemaker aka vigneron
- Embotellador – Elaborador: bottler
- Comercialitzadora: commercial wine agent aka negociant
Work on these changes began at their 15th anniversary back in 2016 and has been ongoing since. Despite this length of time, part of their introduction has clearly been spurned by the recent wine fraud case wherein hundreds of thousands of their (and other locals DO’s) back labels were allegedly forged by the distribution company, Reserva de la Tierra.
While the investigation is still ongoing in the case, DO Montsant has lost little time in pushing this new agenda forward. In talking with Decanter, DO president, Pilar Just said: ‘This is part of a larger action plan for us to ensure guarantees for the consumer and this is but the first step of many to come.’
Just stated that they will also be updating their back labels to include special tamper-proof materials with an added hologram, as well as forthcoming certifications for “old vines” and eventually a form of localised subzones. She emphasised, ‘The core of everything we’re doing here is to ensure that everything stated on the labels of our wines is correct, verifiable, and supports traceability.’
The 2022 harvest will mark the 21st for this DO which was created in 2001. Often thought of as the “little sibling” or “budget” version of the older DOQ Priorat which it borders, in less than a quarter century, Montsant has established itself as a quality region within Spain with its own profile based primarily upon the grape varieties of Grenache and Carignan. Laying claim to 61 certified wineries now, they’ve managed to maintain and slowly grow their vineyard area over two decades of existence.
In turn, the establishment of the brand DO Montsant has given greater value to the grapes and thus helped them to maintain a stable level of viticulturists. This is in opposition to many other regions in Spain where an aging agricultural sector is retiring and either abandoning vineyards or selling them to large enterprises, leading to industry consolidation.
These new efforts come at a time when various regulatory bodies in Spain are increasing efforts to both ensure the veracity of their wines as well as to give more granular definition. The fraud case of Reserva de la Tierra appeared to serve as impetus to increase their efforts, but many regional bodies, say the same as DO Montsant in that these are ongoing changes that are designed to meet the demands of the modern consumer who wants greater trust in the wines they’re drinking.