Nothing Celia Villalobos says or does goes unnoticed. In his more than 25 years of public life he has left numerous famous episodes in the newspaper archives: his support for same-sex marriage against the Popular Party, the scolds his chauffeur in the courtyard of Congress – “Come on, Manolo !; Come on, pussy! ”-, your fake team sports and, above all, his famous game of Candy Crush in the Congress of Deputies in full Debate on the state of the nation. In her latest controversy, the former minister, former mayor of Malaga and former vice president of Congress took it with the Extremaduran cava in the program Everything is a lie of four.
The space presented by Risto Mejide dedicated its afternoon gathering to the boycott of the Catalan product that was promoted – and promoted – by certain sectors of Spanish politics as a punishment for Catalan independence, something that Villalobos considers “crazy.” In the fury of the debate, the former politician said: “Have a cava that they make in Almendralejo, it is not the same [que tomar uno catalán]”. He assured that in the Extremadura town they have been making this drink for “five minutes.” Controversy served.
In response to the policy, the mayor of Almendralejo (Badajoz), José María Ramírez (PSOE), sent a letter to the Cuatro program to invite Villalobos and the team to visit the wineries and taste the Almendralejo cava. “The letter was sent without acrimony and without great indignation, but simply an attempt to clarify ”, assures the mayor in conversation with EL ESPAÑOL. Ramírez, in a relaxed and relaxed tone, takes the issue away: “We are talking about a program that has an informative but also humorous format. I think that in the fury of the debate that was taking place there was a slip up ”.
5 million bottles
Although cava is traditionally associated with Catalonia – specifically, with the municipality of San Sadurní de Noya (Barcelona) – for years the denomination of origin of cava has recognized other areas of Spain as cava producers. In this select club they also enter Requena (Valencia), the banks of the Ebro and Almendralejo, where this sparkling concoction began to be made in 1983.
“Cava, obviously, was born in Catalonia, but there were areas that began to make cava and here, in Almendralejo, it was 38 years ago. They asked to be in the appellation of origin and it was denied. There was a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court and agreed with these claimants”, Explains Rodríguez.
“I am not going into whether Catalan cava is better or worse. Catalan cava is excellent and I do not dispute that. But of course she [Villalobos] He set the example by specifically naming the Almendralejo area as a cava producing area, ”says the mayor. “There are Catalan wineries that buy cava here and then bottle themselves.”
Although this sale in bulk is considerable, the mayor illustrates the growth of the “treasure” of his land with the increase in bottle production: “It had a fairly large expansion. In 10 years we have gone from producing 50,000 bottles to five million. It is a very important step in production. But it is not even 3% of the national production ”.
How much of this increase is due to the boycott of the Catalan product? Impossible to know. Villalobos, for his part, qualified his words when the mayor’s letter arrived on the program and was read by Risto Mejide. “It is true that many people went to Extremadura cava. I hope many of those who left continue to consume it, ”Villalobos said this Tuesday. Despite this, he confessed that she is from Catalan cava. “It was the traditional one, in which in my house it was opened every year.”
“We want to go further, because a cable collection is not enough,” replied Risto Mejide to the former politician. “You have to go and show it, so we invited Celia Villalobos, paid for the program, to go to one of those wineries to record it and have it here on the program.” Villalobos’ response was what one might expect: “I agree”.
But beyond the television show, have they really responded to the mayor’s invitation to enter the Almendralejense cava cellars? “They haven’t told us anything about whether they are going to come, but if they come, we are delighted. In the end, this is publicity and it suits us well ”, says the mayor, bluntly.
“It is not a patriotic localism”
Currently in Almendralejo there are four cava producing wineries: Marcelino Díaz, Romale, Ruiz Torres and Vía de la Plata. “They can only be vineyards and wineries that are in the municipal term,” says the mayor. The designation of origin is that strict.
“Here come the inspectors of the denomination of origin and there are complete consignments that are discarded for not complying with the quality. In other words, it is perfectly guarded, ”explains Ramírez, implying that the product that comes out of Almendralejo has the same quality standards as Catalan cava.
“This is not a patriotic localism,” he says in reference to the letter sent to the discord program, but a “clarification” of Villalobos’ words. “There is quite a quality cava here.” The proof, again, is that there are Catalan wineries that buy product from Extremadura and then bottle and label in the original land of cava. Something very similar to what happens with Andalusian oil in Italy or Manchego wine in La Rioja.
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