JUN. 16 11:44 A.M. ET Severe storms this week have destroyed much of the port wine crop in northern Portugal, local officials said Friday, but the exact extent of the devastation was not immediately known.
The government Port and Douro Wines Institute, which gathers information on the industry, did not provide an official estimate of damage from the storms or what the overall effects could be on this year’s crop.
Several local officials, however, have said that up to 80 percent of the port wine crops in their districts was lost in the storms.
This is how an article I found online outlined the issue. Turns out these storms that whipped through the region kicked up hail and strong winds to wipe out a lot of the young buds and new grapes. Bad news? Well yes, being an ardent port lover, I never want to see the region hurt and a vintage lost. But let’s look at a couple of factors as to what will be hurt most. First off, there wasn’t going to be a Vintage declaration this year. It looks almost for sure that last year will be declared by a majority of port houses and it’s few and far between that they would risk declaring 2 years in a row.This is mainly due to the market being unable to absorb the high priced wines from 2 consecutive vintages. Even if this was a great year, they most likely would have bottled single Quinta vintage ports and some coheiltas. On the other hand the bulk wine that is made each year into your everyday Ruby and lesser tawny’s may see smaller productions as a result of this.
Since so far I have only read this article, I’m not really sure what this means for the whole region or if this was largely limited to a few producers. I promise in the weeks ahead to do some research and see if I can find out more about the extent of the damage and any repercussions it may have. If you know more about this issue or know someone who does, please send us a message or leave comment.