Agriculture minister Maria do Céu Antunes visiting the Única Adega Cooperativa de Lagoa wine cellars

Minister reveals €8 million support for winemakers during visit to Lagoa

A series of support measures totalling around €8 million for the national wine sector were announced by Portugal’s Agriculture Minister during a visit to Lagoa on Friday (May 7).

Among the measures is the inclusion of the winemaking sector on the list of sectors that can benefit from “temporary exceptional support” to farmers and small and medium-sized companies.

“It is with great satisfaction that Lagoa welcomed the visit of the Minister of Agriculture as a winemaking territory which was once one of the largest wine producers of the country,” said Lagoa Mayor Luís Encarnação.

“It is not every day that Lagoa hosts such an important announcement for the country like the one we had the privilege of hearing first-hand,” he added.

Agriculture Minister, Maria do Céu Antunes – accompanied by Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Rui Martinho – visited Lagoa on the first day of the Wine Cities Contest, which took place in the town between last Friday and Sunday (May 7-9) and featured around 35 winemakers from all over the country, including the Algarve and Madeira and Azores archipelagos.

Her visit began with a tour of the Única Adega Cooperativa de Lagoa wine cellars, where she learned about the “history and tradition of a people who once focused mainly on winemaking”.

The minister also tried several local wines before moving on to the São José convent’s cultural centre where the wine contest was taking place.

She was accompanied during her visit by the local mayor as well as the president of the Wine and Vine Institute (IVV), Bernardo Gouveia; the president of the Portugal Wine Routes Association (ARVP), Ângelo Machado; the president of the Algarve Wine Commission (CVA), Sara Silva; and the President of the Algarve Wine Municipalities Association, Pedro Magalhães Ribeiro.

While at the cultural centre, the minister also had the chance to speak with the contest’s jury and learn more about the “evolution of Lagoa’s wine sector, which has seen an increase in winemakers since the town was named Wine City in 2016”.

Contest results to be announced soon
Meanwhile, the results of the Algarve Wine Contest and the Wine Cities Contest, which were held in Lagoa last week, are due to be revealed soon.

Lagoa Council said that the Algarve Wine Contest results will be announced on Thursday (May 14) and that 42 wines received medals – 28 silver medals and 13 gold as well as the coveted ‘Best Wine of the Algarve’ title.

The results of the Wine Cities Contest are also due to be revealed soon. Over 550 wines were tasted during the event, which also takes participating winemakers to Italy to represent the country at the European wine competition ‘Città del Vino’, which will be held in Modena between May 20 and 23.

Said Lagoa Mayor Luís Encarnação, “it is an enormous privilege for Lagoa to host this contest and it is recognition of the extraordinary growth that the wine sector has experienced in our borough, but also our region.

“For some years, we have been focusing our strategy on the promotion of our territory, beaches, golf courses and gastronomy, but now we also highlight our excellent wines, thus fighting seasonality.”

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Agriculture minister Maria do Céu Antunes visiting the Única Adega Cooperativa de Lagoa wine cellars
Agriculture minister Maria do Céu Antunes announced support measures for the wine sector
Lagoa Mayor Luís Encarnação presenting the Wine Cities Contest at the São José convent in Lagoa
Over 550 wines were tasted during the event