Portugal’s Douro Demarcated Region produced 234,000 barrels of wine in 2022, a drop of 10% to 12% compared to the previous year and lower than initially forecast, according to the Institute of Douro Wines and Port.
The estimated drop in production for last year’s harvest in the Douro was around 20% according to initial forecasts.
However, according to the chairman of the Institute of Douro Wines and Port, IVDP, Gilberto Igrejas, the production declared in the oldest demarcated and regulated region in the world was around 234,000 barrels (550 litres) of wine, which is less than the 264,000 barrels declared for 2021.
“We had an agricultural year that, despite everything, was not as harmful for farmers as what was estimated in May 2022,” he said.
Igrejas said that a drop in production was estimated at “around 20%” and explained that the forecasts are based on the method of pollen collected during the flowering phase of the vine, between May and June, in the Douro’s three sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.
“Almost all the data from the harvest showed that, in terms of production, we would have losses of around 10 or 12%. In other words, the losses were not as excessive as we had forecast,” he said.
The forecasts are based on the method of pollen collected and therefore do not take into account post-flowering factors, which can alter the harvest potential.
The winter and spring of last year were already dry and drought conditions became even more adverse during the summer with very high temperatures.
However, the rain that fell in September and also in October helped the harvest, and 2022 was also a year without problems of diseases and pests in the vineyard.
Due to the heat and intense drought, many producers complained of production losses of up to 20%, mainly in the Upper Douro and in the lower areas of Cima Corgo.
Official figures from the IVDP now reveal that the losses were not as high as expected.
For the 2022 harvest, the benefit was fixed at 116,000 barrels of wine, i.e., the amount of juice that each producer can transform into Port, a figure that represented an increase of 12,000 barrels in comparison with the previous year.
Also for 2022, the IVDP announced on Wednesday that sales of Douro and Port wines had risen to around €625 million, a “record figure” that was driven by a recovery in the domestic market and sales of special categories.
Official figures show a 3% increase in turnover compared to 2021, but at the export level there was a 5.4% drop in sales due to factors such as the war in Eastern Europe, inflation and the crisis in some traditional markets such as the United Kingdom.