It's party time in Portugal and in the offices of ViniPortugal, the promotional body for Portuguese wines around the world. Their recent UK press release tells why: 'The official figures from the National Statistics Institute of Portugal up to the end of November 2010 have just been released and show spectacular increases in exports to the UK by value of 99.1% and by volume of 22.5%'. The actual value rose from €17,777,000 for Jan to Nov 2009 to €35,386,000 for the same period in 2010.
This has been helped by support from retailers and by the excellent ViniPortugal UK website, which gives details of more than 1,000 Portuguese wines and where they are available, as well 'news, videos and blogs about all things Portuguese'.
Danny Cameron, Chairman of the UK's Association of Portuguese Wine Importers (APWI), is another happy man: 'These figures endorse what importers have been seeing anecdotally in the marketplace over the last year: namely, that retailers and restaurants have seen that consumers are taking Portugal much more seriously, and have responded by offering greater choice in their ranges. Portugal's fabulous vinous diversity also means that this should be just the start of the UK wine-drinkers' journey of discovery.'
For journey signposts, see Shining a light on Portugal, Jancis's most recent article on this 'fabulous vinous diversity', and the associated tasting notes. Click on the Portugal tag at the end of that article for lots more coverage.