A visit to the site last week. / SUR

Work begins on Muscatel raisin visitor's centre four years after FAO recognition

A wine press has already been installed, with vines also being planted at the new location

EUGENIO CABEZAS EL BORGE.

More than four years after the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recognised the Axarquía Alexandria Muscatel raisin as an Important System of World Agricultural Heritage (SIPAM), work has begun on a visitor's centre in El Borge.

A wine press has already been restored and vines have been planted. The president of Malaga's provincial authority, Francisco Salado, visited the site last week.

He explained that technicians are currently drafting the project for the construction of a building next to the wine press, to be used as a winery and to demonstrate the processes of wine making in both traditional and modern ways.

Visitors will be able to produce raisins as they were made in the past using traditional tools and utensils as well as using raisin racks for drying the grapes in the sun.

The drafting of the project will be completed in November and the construction cost is estimated at 1.8 million euros, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Junta de Andalucía, through the agricultural employment plan (PFEA).

The building is expected to be sustainable, including a green roof with solar panels, collection and reuse of rainwater, solar protection of glass and boilers and efficient facilities. However, the provincial institution has not specified when the new public facility will be open.