First Wine Cities Challenge takes place in Lagoa


By Paula Martins,
in Algarve ·
23-10-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Wine tourism is becoming an increasingly important part of the economy in the Algarve.

On 16 October, during the opening ceremony held at Quinta dos Vales, the extension of the deadline to register wines for the competition until 30 October was announced, to give the opportunity for more wines be registered in this challenge.

The first Cities of Wine Competition, which is part of the European Città del Vino Competition, will be held in Convento de São José, Lagoa, during 26 and 27 November. The event allows participants to take part in two competitions: in the Wine Cities Competition – Portugal Wine City Challenge, at a national level, and in the European Competition Città del Vino, internationally.

The initiative is promoted by the associations of Portuguese Wine Municipalities (AMPV) and Portuguese Wine Routes (ARVP).

“This will be the first initiative in Portugal that allows open wine tasting to 500 people. In Brazil, the largest wine appraisal in the world is done with 1,000 people. Our goal is to eventually surpass that number”, said José Arruda, Secretary General of AMPV, during the opening ceremony which The Portugal News attended. “This event allows for people to really get to know the reality of Algarve wines and wine tourism, which is an increasingly important complement to conventional sun and sea tourism”, he added.

The competition will have a jury composed of 33 people, chaired by António Ventura and the wines must be delivered by 16 November. “We already have 400 wines included in the competition, but we aim to increase the number to 600”, said José Arruda.

For Algarve tourism, which is a hugely important economic activity in the region, José Arruda considers that “the connection between territories and wines is important, consuming in the Algarve, the Algarve wine and the Algarve gastronomy, is a differentiating element and with the global competition that exists in the sector it is important to make this association”.

For Luís Encarnação, president of the Lagoa council, who welcomes this project, he is proud to be one of the municipalities with the most wines registered, so far, from all over the country, with “at this moment 22 wines registered” in the competition.

According to one of the organisers, Pedro Ribeiro, Portugal is the 8th largest wine exporter, which represents great potential in the wine sector. According to him “nowadays the main reason that brings tourists to the Algarve is the combination of gastronomy with enology, followed by the sun and the sea and only then golf”. In fact, during the pandemic, “wine tourism was seen as a great alternative for many foreigners,” he said.

The competition has the support of the Presidency of the Republic and as such is the first wine contest of its kind to have such support.

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