Revaluation of viticulture in Andalusia: the GO Payments project

Vineyards in Montilla
Vineyards in Montilla

The Andalusian wine sector, famous for the quality and diversity of its wines, is in a phase of transformation and revaluation thanks to the project of the Grupo Operativo Pagos (GO Pagos). This group’s main objective is the zoning of the areas of wine-growing interest in the Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) of Montilla-Moriles, Málaga and Sierras de Málaga, and Condado de Huelva and Condado de Huelva Orange Wine.

Zoning is a method that allows delimiting and characterizing wine production areas based on objective data and scientific criteria. The objective is to assign a value to the different areas of the territory and, therefore, to the wines produced in them. It is an approach that allows a differentiated treatment of the grapes from these vineyards, enhancing the quality and identity of the wines that are produced.

Several key institutions and entities in the Andalusian wine and agri-food industry participate in this initiative. These include the Foundation for Agri-Food Quality Control of Andalusia (FCCAA), the Montilla-Moriles, Málaga, Sierras de Málaga, Condado de Huelva and Condado de Huelva Orange Wine PDOs, the Campus of International Agri-Food Excellence (ceiA3), the University of Córdoba, Hispatec ERPAgro and MAHALA Wine&.

The tasks of the Payments Operational Group go beyond the simple zoning of the territory. The project intends to recover, order and characterize the historical payments and the areas of special interest of the participating PDOs. This approach, based on edaphoclimatic, cultural and human criteria, seeks to provide the territorial division with a solid scientific base, valuing wine production.

The group will work on the creation of a dynamic and updatable technological tool, intended to be used by the sector in decision-making. This tool will help improve grape and wine production strategies, based on the new territorial zoning of appellations of origin, and will also serve as a system for analyzing the influence of climate change on viticulture.

The research and findings resulting from the project will be disseminated among producers, winemakers, organizations, institutions and public and private entities, with special attention to consumers and prescribers. This knowledge transfer is essential to ensure that the benefits of this work reach all stakeholders.

The project, which will be carried out until the end of 2024, has a subsidy through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) by the Junta de Andalucía, with a total amount of €288,408.66 granted.

The Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) included in the project have shown in the past differences in the way they manage the zoning and recognition of their wine-growing lands. The Montilla-Moriles PDO has used an administrative separation based on existing infrastructures or natural boundaries, while the PDOs Málaga and Sierras de Málaga established their classification of payments in the 18th century, based on climatic data and the time of the harvest. For their part, the Condado de Huelva and Vino Naranja del Condado de Huelva PDOs, although the traditional payments have always been recognized by farmers and winemakers, there is no record of a formal classification of their lands.

The Payments Operational Group has a challenging and valuable task ahead of it. Through research and the implementation of new technologies, this project seeks to transform and promote the Andalusian wine industry, bringing a new level of recognition and value to the wines produced in these regions.

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