Knowing so little about Portuguese wine everything I am experiencing is new to me. With such an objective opinion of wine and the wine industry here, I am open to different ideas and I have been developing some ideas which may or may not be particularly accurate. One of the first things I noticed about wine in Portugal compared to other European countries is that more premium wines tend to be a little more expensive, particularly in restaurants where they have pretty much the same markup as in Australia. The second thing I have noticed is that there is a big difference between commercially produced wines and more premium boutique wines both in terms of quality and volume, but there seems to be a huge gap in the middle with very few medium-sized wineries. The third thing I have noticed is a lack of cooperation between wineries, which I experienced when visiting one winery and them talking in a slightly negative or condescending way about other wineries. Obviously these wines are competing with each other, but perhaps they need to look a little bigger and consider that they are actually competing with other product categories like beer, spirits and countless non-alcoholic beverages. You also can’t ignore the trend for the best Portuguese wines to be consumed within Portugal, with port the only exception. All of these reasons combine to create a situation where very few outside the country know how good the wines are, and as such not much is exported in a profitable way. Hopefully this will change as new groups have been established to promote the wines around the world. The two wineries I visited on my second day in the Dao region are probably the most important for the region in the export markets.
|Sandy granitic soils in Dao|