The Portuguese wine market has been forecast to decline at a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.74% over the 10 year period between 2007 and 2017, falling to an industry value of EUR3.85 billion by the end of 2017.
The deep economic crisis gripping the country continued to negatively affect demand for wine in Portugal in 2011. The real disposable incomes of most Portuguese consumers decreased further towards the end of 2010, due to an increase in both sales and income taxes.
This resulted in consumers increasingly shifting from on-trade to off-trade in 2011, as well as migrating from more expensive brands to cheaper ones.
Back in the 1990s Spain seemed to be Europe's most forward looking wine producer. But as overproduction and high alcohol wines increasingly dominate Spanish viniculture, it now appears Portugal can steal some of its thunder.
Such an achievement would simply not have been possible 10 years ago. Prior to 1986, when Portugal joined the EU, its wine industry was wracked by political directives and a lack of any dependable system to make sense of its wine regions.
Today there are 14 approved wine regions in Portugal, including the beautiful Douro River Valley, famous for its fortified Port wines.
While fortified wines, largely Port and Madeira, have been the exclusive focus of Portugal's wine scene for centuries, it's the Portuguese table wines that have started garnering some well deserved notoriety abroad.
The vast majority of Portugal's table wines are made from a blend of predominately native grapes. While many New World wine drinkers tend to be more comfortable with varietal-based (and labelled) wines, Portugal opens the door to a whole new wine adventure.
Wines from Portugal are among the market's top contenders for the industry's highly coveted quality-to-price ratio, or QPR. With Portuguese wines consistently showcasing exceptional QPR across the board these quality-conscious, value-driven wines from the Old World are worth seeking out on several counts.
For more information on the Portuguese wine market, see the latest research: Portuguese Wine Market
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