Wine producers in Tenerife are facing ruin because 2007 looks like being one of the worst years ever.

The vines have been hit by disease and the heat wave that coincided with the fires, when temperatures reached 40ºC was the final straw. In some vineyards producers are declaring a wipe out.

The Güímar valley area reported losses in the order of 20 to 30%. But once the grapes arrived at the wineries the experts did a rapid revaluation and revised that figure. They now say that a 50% loss is more probable.

For Manuel Marrero Reyes, president of the Cumbres de Abona winery in the south, the situation is little short of catastrophic and if urgent palliative measures are not taken soon wine production in Tenerife faces a bleak future.

“The difficulties which exist to maintain acceptable levels of production and combat the diseases which are attacking our vines are a huge burden. In addition we now have increasingly more unusual weather patterns and there are serious problems in the commercialization of local wine in the wake of the tightening up of drink drive legislation, in the light of all of which some kind of institutional intervention is essential if we do not want to see our vineyards abandoned,” he said last week.

As for the big northern wine growing district of Tacoronte, the socialist party there has described the situation as “catastrophic”. Losses there are said be in the order of 60 to 80% while over in Icod the picture is even worse with figures of 80 to 90% being quoted.

Overall it is expected that the harvest in the north will be down by 60% at best and by 90% in the worst case scenario.