Portugal’s Douro region is the European Wine Capital in 2023, with dozens of initiatives planned throughout the year to showcase the region to Europe, promote wine tourism, culture, heritage and wine.
The inter-municipal community of Douro (CIM Douro) said in a statement today that the presentation gala of the Douro European Capital of Wine will be held on February 4, in Lamego.
“All Around Wine, All Around Douro” was the motto of the Douro candidacy to become European Wine Capital 2023 and this award – won in June in Brussels – is, according to the CIM, “one of the most important in the history of the region,” which has been a World Heritage Site since 2001.
The city of Peso da Régua had already tried to win the title in 2018 and that experience resulted in a regional application, which involved the different agents of the Douro.
Without specifying which ones, CIM Douro said that “dozens of initiatives are planned throughout the year” to showcase the region to Europe.
“The World Heritage Douro will thus be a European reference in wine, vines, culture and the harmonious celebration of nature and the centuries-old work carried out by generations of Douro people,” said the community, stressing this is “considered to be one of the greatest collective challenges that the Douro has ever taken on in its entire history, symbolising the desire and the heartbeat of an entire region”.
“With this distinction as European Wine Capital 2023, the Douro nurtures the legitimate desire for the region to be a major contributor to national exports, making wine and vines a concrete and real lever for the development of its economy and wealth of those who live and work here”.
CIM’s statement added that the aim is “for the region to transmit, represent and be a noteworthy economic, social and cultural brand, an example of harmonious interaction between Man and Nature”.
According to CIM, the region’s19 mayors are “prepared to give body to the challenge” Douro European Capital of Wine 2023, “together with local and regional entities and the approximately 22,000 producers, accepting the urgency of the enhancement of the product and the construction of a balanced region with sustainability“.
“Opening the Douro to the world is also another purpose of this candidacy. The Douro region, for decades on end, focused solely on the production of wine. Today the Douro, a region of charismatic landscapes with soul and attitude, with its pleasant navigable river, has the legitimate ambition of bringing the world to the Douro. And it will be this discovery of the Douro, this experience of the Douro ‘in situ’ that will generate added value to what we produce, to what we create here, to our wine, to our vines, to our people”, stressed CIM.
CIM Douro comprises the districts of Alijó, Armamar, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Lamego, Mesão Frio, Moimenta da Beira, Murça, Penedono, Peso da Régua, Sabrosa, Santa Marta de Penaguião, São João da Pesqueira, Sernancelhe, Tabuaço, Tarouca, Torre de Moncorvo, Vila Nova de Foz Coa and Vila Real.
The European Capital of Wine is an annual competition launched by the European Network of Wine Cities (RECEVIN) in 2012, and aims to promote tourism and the dissemination of European wine producing regions, having a rotating character among the various countries that are part of the network.
RECEVIN is supported by the national wine associations present in most of the 11 member countries of the network – Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Serbia.
The RECEVIN board of directors elected Aranda de Duero (Spain) as European Wine Capital 2020 and, due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, this title has been extended until 2022.
In 2023, the European Capital of Wine would have to be Portuguese and, in addition to the Douro, applications were submitted for the “Algarve Golden Terroir”, which brought together the municipalities of Lagoa, Albufeira, Lagos and Silves, and another from the Lima Valley, which brought together the municipalities of Arcos de Valdevez, Ponte da Barca, Ponte de Lima and Viana do Castelo.