TWO-thirds of grapes that’ll be eaten at midnight in Spain to welcome in 2023 will have been grown in Alicante Province.

They are the Aledo variety which is unique to the area.

Bunches have been protected in the Vinalopo vineyards with paper bags placed over the summer to keep them in top condition for up to 60 days.

They are rich in antioxidants and minerals as well as having fewer calories than other brands of grape.

The thin skin gives off a sweet and delicate taste.

Vineyards are to be found in Aspe, Agost, Hondon de los Frailes, Hondon de las Nieves, Novelda, Monforte del Cid, the Campo de Alicante and La Romana.

The Vinalopo table grape federation(CRDOP) has a slogan of ‘Proud of our role’ which signifies the importance of the Aledo brand and the recognition it gets at the European Union level.

CRDOP is keen that customers identify and ask for Aledo grapes with official labelling since ‘only then will they eat a product that’s truly protected with all the of quality and environmental guarantees’.

The fruit is always hand-picked often by students during their summer holidays.

“It would be absurd to maintain a tradition of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve, based on products from other countries,” CRDOP proclaimed.

The Aledo crops generate 13,000 jobs in the region but there have been problems in 2022, to add to the previous two Covid pandemic years.

CRDOP said that the combination of hot weather for many months and the ‘extraordinary’ rise in production and distribution costs have made 2022 a ‘difficult’ year for the grape sector.

Demand has been stagnant but the federation said they were confident of a big rebound in the closing hours of the year.

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