NEW YORK, NY, July 7, 2022 – Viticulture on the modern-day Iberian Peninsula dates back over 4,000 years, and Portugal’s ever-evolving viticultural scene is a testament to the area’s adaptability. As concerns surrounding climate change continue to unsettle wine-producing areas around the globe, Portugal continues to effortlessly adjust, thanks to the country’s resilient winemakers, forward-thinking farmers, and innovative hands in the cellar. Frederico Falcão, President of ViniPortugal, shares a glimpse into the future of Portuguese wine—as well as what to look out for—here.
Farming for the Future
Although the wine industry is seeing a global trend towards sustainable wine production, Falcão says that this isn’t necessarily anything new for the ancient wine-producing regions of Portugal. However, according to Falcão, many Portuguese producers are taking their efforts a step further by installing solar panels, irrigating less, and using fewer chemicals in the vineyard. By limiting the use of natural resources—as well as encouraging the implementation of organic and chemical-free farming—Portugal will continue to put itself on the map as one of the world’s most sustainable wine-producing countries.
Resurgence of Indigenous Grape Varieties
Additionally, Portugal’s viticultural scene is returning to its roots – quite literally speaking. Falcão explains that over the past three decades, Portuguese winemakers were focused on a handful of grape varieties. However, the country has been seeing a massive shift in the resurgence of ancient varieties. “Portugal has a unique collection of native grape varieties, over 250,” Falcão explains, crediting the shift towards a desire for more diverse wines, as well as the need for drought-resistant raw materials given the extreme climate conditions that farmers are faced with in the present day. “Portugal has a huge number of grape varieties that can help us to face climate change,” Falcão affirms.
Native Portuguese varieties to look for: Arinto (white), Loureiro (white), Trincadeira (white), Encruzado (white), Sercial (white), Baga (red), Touriga Nacional (red), Vinhão (red)
Regions to Watch
Rather than simply looking at Portugal as a singular wine-producing entity, diving into the country’s unique viticultural regions provides a diverse glimpse into the future of Portuguese winemaking. According to Falcão, each Portuguese region is presenting new styles of wines with old varieties, as well as is currently putting out wines that are elegant and easy to drink.
“Portugal is really a world of difference, a world of diversity,” he says. “We have so many different regions, soils, climates and grapes – it’s not one grape and one style, rather a huge diversity to be explored.”
Comprehensive reference of Portugal’s viticultural regions: Minho (Vinho Verde), Douro, Trás os-Montes, Távora- Varosa, Beira Interior, Dão, Bairrada, Lisboa, Tejo, Península de Setúbal, Alentejo, Algarve, Madeira and Açores.
Falcão notes that for consumers growing tired of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (or equally, for those who can’t get enough of them), Portugal is “definitely the country to explore,” thanks to its countless indigenous grape varieties and broad styles of winemaking.
About Wines of Portugal
ViniPortugal is a private and non-profit interprofessional association, created with the aim of promoting and supporting Portuguese wine production, both domestically and internationally. ViniPortugal’s Mission is to promote the image of Portugal as a country that produces wines of excellence, by valuing the brand Wines of Portugal and contributing to a sustainable growth of both volume and average price of Portuguese wine, as well as its diversity. Eight professional associations representing trade (ACIBEV, ANCEVE and AND), production (CAP, FENADEGAS, FENAVI and FEVIPOR) and demarcated regions (ANDOVI), integrate ViniPortugal.
For more information about Wines of Portugal, please visit www.winesofportugal.com.