As in so much of Europe, this year’s growing season in Portugal was cooler and wetter than usual, which led to the appearance of diseases such as mildew, which seems to have affected more the quantity produced rather than the quality of the grapes. Portuguese officials insist that the total amount of rain was not enough to jeopardise the vintage, although it certainly tested viticulturists throughout the year. Oenologists overall are relatively positive regarding quality. Quantity will be down but the wines should be quite fresh and balanced.
In 2007 there will be an estimated decrease of 15% from 2006. Although forecast data is not available from all wine regions, the decrease in production is more noticeable in the northern regions.
Winemakers' quotes by region:
Manuel Soares – Aveleda
“In comparison with previous years, the harvest is delayed. If the weather stays as it has been, the wines will be pretty fresh, fruity and very balanced. This year seems to be especially good for grape varieties such as Trajadura, Loureiro and Alvarinho.”
Luís Pato – Luís Pato Wines
“It is still difficult to evaluate this harvest as it depends on weather conditions in September and, this year, also during the first week of October. We have a delay of around 10 days for the harvest kick-off, as the summer has been cooler than usual. There was loss of quantity due to rainfalls throughout the year and mildew attacks, but I foresee exceptional quality for sparkling wines and for whites in Bairrada.”
Sandra Tavares da Silva – Pintas / Quinta do Vale D. Maria
“There is an evident decrease of production. The grapes maturation is delayed and we need that the climate stays stable and warm for the next 2 weeks in order to have a good phenolic maturation. For the producers which did the correct treatments for mildew, the grapes show a very good sanitary condition. Regarding the quality of this vintage, it seems that it will be very good to excellent, with balanced productions.”
Carlos Lucas – Dão Sul
“2007 is a year of great oenological potential, as the vines are in excellent conditions with a good quantity of fruit per vine and good balance of sugar and acidity. This year has potential to produce elegant Dão wines, as the balance of sugar and acidity is not being put at risk by too high temperatures”
José Luis Oliveira da Silva – Casa Santos Lima
“Harvest is delayed around 2 weeks and we expect it to be longer than usual. Production will be reduced by 15 – 20% vs. last 3 years, due to the storms and hail in May, followed by a grape sunburn by end of June. The sanitary conditions of the vines are excellent and the moderately warm days and cool nights are contributing for a balanced grape maturation, which allows us to foresee a very good harvest.”
Nuno Cancella d’Abreu – Alorna
“This year’s harvest will be delayed by one week and we will have a slight reduction in production. However, the grapes are more balanced and with very good acidity and with a phenomenal aromatic potential which I haven’t experienced for several years.”
Península de Setúbal
Jaime Quendera – Adega Cooperativa de Pegões / Casa Ermelinda Freitas
“The white wines have normal maturations with lots of aromatic freshness and good acidity due to a mild summer, the quality expected is high. For reds the maturation is delayed in one week but it is balanced. These wines are likely to have good concentration and aromas.”
Luís Duarte – Herdade dos Grous
“There will be a slight reduction on production of around 15% due to rainfalls in June, which lead to occurrence of mildew. With regular treatment the vines are healthy and the “green harvest” caused my mildew actually helped to improve the overall quality of the grape bunches which remained in the vines. The weather conditions now are exceptional and we expect to have wines of excellent quality”.