The Hondon Valley is known for it’s table grapes. In 2014 the Vinolopó area produced 40 million kilos and despite the very long, dry and intense heat this year, the grapes were of the usual high quality.
Of course this delicate fruit needs some protection from the severe Costa Blanca elements so they can arrive to your table in optimum eating condition.
So in the late spring to early summer, the usually influx of casual workers come to help ‘bag the grapes’ on the vine. You will see the whitish paper bags hanging from the vines. The bags help to protect the grapes from the weather, pests and birds. But importantly, also to deter maturity for a late autumn harvest (October to November).
The Regulatory Council of the Table Grape estimates that during this ‘bagging’ month the Grape Growers will use 80 million paper bags.
Temporary workers will carry out the peculiar process of bagging the fruit in the fields of Aspe , Novelda , Monforte del Cid, Hondon de los Frailes , Hondon de las Nieves and La Romana.
The bagging and collection of table grapes in Vinalopó is a traditional generator of employment in a region hit by a downturn in marble and construction work. About 6,000 workers take part in the bagging. The grapes are bagged before the end of July.
And it has been announced recently that this year’s grape harvest will be another year of excellent quality!
… and I can vouch that they are quite delicious – the local markets are the best places to buy at around €1.50 for an enormous bunch of plump local produce… can’t wait !!