Wine production in Portugal will grow this year, but below expectations due to bad weather, excessive heat and diseases, said today the executive president of ViniPortugal, Frederico Falcão.
At the end of July, the Vine and Wine Institute estimated an increase in production for the 2023/2024 wine year of around 8% to 7.4 million hectolitres compared to the previous year, but the official said that the projection was out of date.
“After that, we’ve had a few climatic accidents, such as hail in the Trás-os-Montes region, in the Douro region, and also a little bit in the Vinho Verde region,” he told Agência Lusa on the sidelines of a wine tasting in London.
Falcão also mentioned problems with mildew and diseases affecting vines in various regions and dryness due to very high temperatures, which should result in production losses.
“It’s very likely that we won’t end up with the 8% increase, but we’re still estimating an increase in production,” he said.
The president of ViniPortugal predicted, for example, that wine production in the Azores will grow, but less than expected, as in Trás-os-Montes.
“The Douro is going to have a few drops compared to what I expected. The Dão will have better growth than I expected. We haven’t done the math yet, but there has indeed been an impact here,” he admitted.
Falcão recognizes that it is difficult for winegrowers to reduce the impact of bad weather and heat.
“There are no great solutions here. There’s not much you can do after these big weather accidents, you have to pick the grapes quickly, the ones you can save,” he explained.
Frederico Falcão was speaking on the sidelines of the annual Portuguese wine tasting in London, which this year brought together 23 producers to present around 200 wines, representing nine different wine-growing regions.
ViniPortugal (Organização Interprofissional do Vinho de Portugal) brings together associations and professional organizations linked to trade, production, cooperatives, distillers and farmers, with the mission of promoting Portuguese wines abroad.
Data from the first half of 2023 revealed an increase in the export of Portuguese wines to the UK, with a growth of 43.85% in value and 18.15% in volume compared to the same period in 2022.
The total value of these exports was approximately 43.5 million euros.
Part of this has been a commitment to promoting Portuguese wines to independent wine shops and restaurants with wine lists or sommeliers, in an attempt to position Portuguese wines in a higher quality, higher priced range.
But the president of ViniPortugal recognizes that the growth in exports was also due to the rush by some importers to increase stocks before a new tariff schedule on alcoholic beverages came into force.
Since August, the tax on table wine has risen by around 20% and fortified wine, such as Port, by around 44%.
“I don’t think we’ll be able to finish with such high growth. The hope is that there will be a bit of a drop or slowdown until the end of the year, but then that the market will adjust to the new prices” in 2024, he said.