The Jerez region of southern Spain, a prolific sherry and brandy producing area, could lose its grape harvest this year.
Jerez Region, Spain: GV Workers picking grapes in fields. (2 SHOTS)
CU Workers putting grapes into basket.
GV Workers carrying sacks of grapes to truck for transportation.
GV Jerez Cathedral.
SV PAN Harvest queen arrives at cathedral for service. (2 SHOTS)
CU PULL BACK Priest holding grapes and blessing them.
SV Harvest queen walks away carrying grapes outside and gives them to treaders. (2 SHOTS)
SV People at festival hand grapes to treaders. (2 SHOTS)
SV Treaders treading grapes.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Grape pulp out of pipe.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Crowd applaud.
SV People drinking sherry.
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Background: The Jerez region of southern Spain, a prolific sherry and brandy producing area, could lose its grape harvest this year. Competition from multinational firms and changing consumer habits had already started to threaten local firms and an indefinite strike begun at the start of September could leave the hulk of the year's crop unpicked. This film was shot during the annual grape treading festival, when the church and community join in celebrations at the start of harvesting. Within days the Communist-controlled Confederation of Workers Commissions (CCOO) led 7,000 grape-pickers out on strike in protest at wages and working conditions. Producers said the action could cost the industry 100 million dollars if continued, but union officials have said that wine companies may not be so unhappy to see the grapes left unharvested. They point out that the region was overplanted this year, given the fall in demand, and the lack of storage space. Producers are said to be confident the strike action will not last much longer: they report more workers crossing picket lines. This optimism seemed to be borne out when the 600 workers at Pedro Domecq, one of Spain's main sherry-producers, agreed to end their action on September 8.