Did you know this? The grape picking in Llíber in the Jalon Valley/ Vall de Pop started last week. Most of the grapes are used to produce wine. Grapes are mainly brought to the two local bodegas in Jalón/ Xaló. But some of the inhabitants of Lliber keep an old tradition alive. They process the grapes into raisins: an old tradition.
In 1472 the Moors living in the Jalon valley sent a selection of wines to the Valencian Court. They negotiated with traders in Javea the sale of a product which, in time, would become the base of Marina Alta’s economy: raisins. The area is now famous for its local wines which belong to the ‘denominación de origen’ of Alicante and raisins are still produced in small quantities.
They harvest the grapes, dip them in boiling water and let them dry for about 30 days. Drying is still done as decades ago: on cane beds outside. When weather requires, the cane beds are taken inside the riuraus. This prevents the grapes of rotting and fungus. Riuraus are old arched buildings made from stone. They protect the grapes from rain but allow the wind going through. The most distinctive riurau is in Jávea/ Xàbia: d’Arnauda.
Most of the sultanas are not eaten by the Spanish, but exported to the United Kingdom. They are still transported as in the past: by boat from Denia.
Curious about this tradition of the grape picking in Llíber? Visit the Lliber harvest fair ‘Feria de Llaurador’ on September 3th and 4th.