The grape harvest in the Binissalem area has started five days earlier than last year in most of the vineyards, and five municipalities in the Raigeur area - Santa Maria, Consell, Binissalem, Sencelles and Santa Eugenia - have reported an increase in quality. The harvest has been brought forward because of the long hot summer and drought which has been damaging the vines. However specialists say that although quantity will be lower, the quality will be much higher than previous years. The grape grown most extensively in the area is the Manto Negro, which accounts for 80 per cent of the harvest and is used for red wine. It is followed by Premsal Blanc for white wine, and to a lesser extent, Tempranillo and Cabernet, which are used mainly to improve the colour of the wine. A spokeswoman for the Hereus de Ribas vineyard of Consell said that production may be as much as 30 per cent less than last year, although the quality is much higher.

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