Douro could hold the key for Portugal says Sogrape

Portuguese wine specialist Sogrape UK is putting its faith in the Douro’s still wines to grow the country’s sales in the UK.

The company showcased wines from its Casa Ferreirinha portfolio at a tasting in London today, and Chris Appleby, brand manager for premium wines, told OLN: “People are starting to realise that Douro delivers quality, lighter wines that have longevity, structure and balance at a range of price points.

“It has some strength and quality that could give Portuguese wine a real presence in the market.”

The Ferreirinha portfolio includes the entry level Esteva, the premium Quinta da Leda wines and the super-premium Barca Velha, a reputed favourite of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Appleby added: “You’re not going to find £4 bottles of Douro wine on the shelf because the winemakers have a real pride in the history and heritage of the valley – and the way the land is moulded into steep valleys makes wine production a labour-intensive work of love and passion. That comes with a cost.”

The London event focused on a range of vintages of Quinta da Leda, including the first samples of 2014 wines.

Managing director Gonçalo Machado, who took over from Matt Douglas in January, told OLN that agency lines would continue to play a role for the company in addition to Sogrape-owned wines.

“We have invested in the team in both the on- and of-trade,” he said, “with a big focus on premium brands, both those owned by Sogrape and some agency products. If we find some interesting opportunities to add new agencies brands we will do so.”