Vinalopó grapes are grown and conditioned in the Vinalopó Valley, specifically in the Alicante municipalities of Aspe, Novelda, Hondón de las Nieves, Hondón de los Frailes, Monforte del Cid, Agost and La Romana. Its seasonality is very high, covering the period from the end of August to mid-January. The Aledo variety has become the most emblematic of the Christmas season, as it is the only grape produced in the northern hemisphere at the end of the year. Two out of every three grapes consumed on New Year's Eve come from the Vinalopó Valley. 33 operators produce around 40 million kg of grapes under the PDO Uva de Mesa Embolsada del Vinalopó, with production destined for both the domestic market (approximately 75 % of the total) and the international market, mainly the European Union.
The first reference to the bagging of grapes dates back to 1921 when Mr. Manuel Bonmatí Abad, a native of Hondón de las Nieves and resident in Novelda, was looking for a solution to protect the grape bunch from a pest known as Cochylis (the grape moth), which had been wreaking havoc in the vineyards since 1912. The benefits that bagging gives to the grapes (in those early days the bags were made with normal paper sewn by machine) have lasted to the present day as, as well as protecting against pests, they give the grapes a more uniform colour, enhance their flavour and delay their ripening.
The bagged grape from Vinalopó is a delicious and extraordinarily healthy fruit for the whole family, as it provides vitamins and minerals essential for children's growth and antioxidants such as Resveratrol, with anti-carcinogenic properties and which helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. A source of fibre and hydration, the Vinalopó grape is free of phytosanitary products and has practically imperceptible seeds that guarantee a complete nutritional supply. The famous grape cure dates back to Roman times and consists of a 24-hour diet based on grapes to completely regenerate all the blood in our organism.
The PDO Vinalopó Embolsada Table Grape contributes to the territorial development of the Medio Vinalopó Valley region, contributing to the creation of more than 13,000 jobs during the campaign. The production and marketing of this fruit has a decisive impact on the economy of the area, ensuring the territorial link of this unique crop with know-how, where the work of the producers is fundamental.
Karlos Arguiñano was the driving force behind recipes for cooking with bagged grapes from Vinalopó. Although 90% of the grape is still consumed fresh, the grape is gaining presence in the kitchen in the form of jams, sweets and healthy recipes, being an exceptional companion for meats, fish and salads.