Lagoa named Wine City of 2016

Lagoa has been named ‘Wine City of 2016’, an accolade awarded by the Association of Portuguese Wine Municipalities (AMPV).

The neighbouring town of Silves was also in the running for the award as well as Ourém, Ponte de Lima and Santa Marta de Penaguião.

“We have a product that can go head-to-head with the best wines of other regions,” Lagoa’s proud mayor Francisco Martins told Lusa news agency, adding that Lagoa has been able to “attract many wine producers” despite being the Algarve’s second smallest borough.

Curiously, the distinction came when Lagoa is celebrating its own ‘Year of Wine’.

“Wine has a long history in Lagoa. Our town even contributed to the production of the famous Port wine during the vineyard crisis in the Douro,” explained Martins.

Lagoa’s Adega Cooperative winery – the first to open in the Algarve and one of the oldest in Portugal – once produced nearly four million litres of wine per year.

But the expansion of the Algarve’s tourism sector started to steal the wine sector’s thunder in the 1970s.

Production has only recently gained a new momentum. Around 200,000 litres of wine are produced annually in Lagoa by four producers, and three others are expected to start in 2016, said Martins.

Now that Lagoa has “the honour and the responsibility” of being Portugal’s “City of Wine”, the council is planning a number of related events – including Portugal’s national wine gala (Gala do Vinho) and the Miss Vindimas contest.

Martins stressed that the accolade is also a victory for the Algarve.

Silves council has also congratulated Lagoa saying it is happy to “collaborate and support any wine-related events” that the town plans.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com