Lovers of Douro wines, both still and fortified, can raise a glass: wine production in the famed Portuguese region will go up by at least 10 percent this year, according to figures from the Association for the Development of Douro Viticulture cited by the Lusa news agency.
The association announced Wednesday that it expects somewhere between 240,000 and 259,000 barrels to be produced this year, compared to 233,000 barrels last year.
Experts warn that adverse weather or crop disease could still affect their projections, but say that conditions have been favourable so far, with a wet winter, followed by dry months and an increase in temperatures, with flowering of the vine occurring in late April.
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“At the moment, we have full bunches, healthy berries and good development conditions,” said spokesperson Luís Marcos.
“Let’s see how the summer evolves,” he told Lusa, cautioning that growers still needed a successful water conservation strategy.
The Douro region is considered a Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) – Portugal’s highest wine classification – and mostly grows local grapes including such varieties as mourisco tinto, tinta amarela, donzelinho branco, and gouveio, among several others.