The Douro region may produce between 263 and 288 thousand barrels of wine this harvest, 23% more than the average harvest of the last five years, said the Association for the Development of Viticulture in the Douro Region (ADVID).
The Director-General of ADVID, Rosa Amador, told reporters that this year “forecasts are above average” and said that in terms of quality, expectations “are also good” because the “grapes are very healthy”.
In 2018, the declared wine production in the Douro Demarcated Region was around 200 thousand wine barrels, lower than initially forecast.
According to ADVID, the expected harvest for the 2019 vintage ranges from 263 to 288 thousand wine barrels. Forecasts are based on the pollen method collected during the vine’s flowering stage, between May and June, in the three sub-regions of Douro: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior, and therefore do not take into account post-floral factors that may alter the harvesting potential, particularly the weather conditions. Rosa Amador said the wine year “went well” for winegrowers, particularly in phytosanitary terms, as there has been “no major disease pressure” so far.
According to the official, there was a bit of grape coulure and, at the end of last week, there were some scalding situations (where the berry is burned) in the area of Baixo Corgo, due to high temperatures above normal. Grape coulure is a physiological accident in which the transformation of flowers into fruit does not occur. “So far, there is still nothing that tells us that may have some negative reflection on production, let’s see how it goes from now on”, said the official.
The year 2018 was considered difficult for the Douro region and the production was below the harvest forecasts, mainly due to the pressure of some diseases in the vineyard, especially mildew, scald and dryness in September.
The harvest forecasts are one of the parameters evaluated by the Inter-professional Council of the Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP) to define the benefit, ie the amount of must that each producer can turn into Port wine.