The Portuguese Wines
15 September 10
I believe that if Portugal puts its strengths first, if producers follow the lead of the great partisans of their regional wine, the artisans working with ancient vines, the curators of old mixed varietal plantings, the growers producing astonishing and graceful single vineyard wines, if commercial producers creatively build on these regional traditions rather than model their wines after the New World, the long term growth of Portugal's wines in the US market is assured.
Few countries, if any, can compete with Portugal’s treasure of varietal diversity and the territorial diversity that sustains it. Certainly, the production of single variety wines is part of the process of understanding that diversity. But the real asset, the value in that varietal diversity, is the complexity of the blend. American wine drinkers are more likely to find consistency buying regional blends than varietal wines from range of different Portuguese regions. Top quality regional blends as well as entertaining, creative riffs on these traditional wines will educate consumers and serve to build brand Portugal. My advice: Sustain the priceless diversity in your vineyards and use it to produce the refined and elegant wines that have made Portugal famous for centuries. The 21st century will be better for it. Joshua Greene is editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits Magazine