As winemaking in the region continues to develop, following the lead of Sir Cliff Richard and other high profile vineyard owners in the area, the future of the troubled Adega de Lagos wine co-operative seems to have been secured.
The group of municipalities known as the Terras do Infante Association (Aljezur, Lagos and Vila do Bispo) has agreed to buy the adega building, used by local farmers to transform their grapes into wine. The move should ensure that the adega’s bank debts, which amount to almost 1,400,000 euros and date back to 1983, will then be paid back to the Caixa de Crédito Agrícola bank.
After a meeting between politicians from Aljezur, Lagos and Vila do Bispo, it was decided that they will buy the adega for the price of the debt owed to the bank. The association then hopes to sell the adega for a profit so that the debt can be paid off and the remaining money can be used to purchase another adega elsewhere.
The exact breakdown of the amount of money invested by the câmaras concerned is unknown, but rumours are that those with vineyards in their areas have injected the most capital.
In addition to the payment to the Caixa de Crédito Agrícola, the Terras do Infante Association is also going to settle debts owed to smaller associations – there are understood to be 108 companies that are collectively owed around 100,000 euros.
“We would like the new adega to be a rentable business,” explained the President of Aljezur Câmara, Manuel Marreiros. He says, “the new structure should begin functioning by next year,” in spite of the fact that the location of the new adega is still unknown. Marreiros confirmed that “studies will be carried out in order to decide the best location”, adding that “Aljezur has sites available awaiting immediate construction”. The President of Lagos Câmara has also offered a site for the proposed new adega – near Chinicato, on the outskirts of the city.