THE EXPORTS of vinho verde wine increased by 14.7 per cent to 7.8 million litres in 2004, an increase that “surprised” the sector and which has been described as “excellent” by the president of the Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes (CVRVV), Manuel Pinheiro.
At a recent press conference, the president explained that France, Germany and the US continue to be the three main markets for Portuguese vinho verde, but according to data supplied by Intrastat for the period between January and September, the UK, Canada, Brazil and Angola are also “good markets”.
On a national level, the sales of vinho verde also increased last year by 1.8 per cent to 52.5 million litres, “despite the current economic climate”, referred Manuel Pinheiro. According to the CVRVV president, the growth of the external markets “was surprising”, but the results have provided great optimism that, in the future, exporting vinho verde could become an “extremely lucrative” business and “a very strong and valuable export for the country”.
According to Pinheiro, white wine continues to be the “anchor of the region’s sales”, in contrast to red and rosé wines. Last year, sales of 0.75 litre bottles grew by 8.1 per cent, gaining ground on the litre and five litre sizes.
But it’s not all good news. The commission is “worried” about the four per cent fall in the average price of vinho verde in Portugal. According to consultants, AC Nielsen, this is not only due to the crisis situation of the Portuguese economy, but also due to high stocks of the product that grew again this year, explained Manuel Pinheiro.