11 de Setembro de 2020, às 00h00

Despite this reduction, which mainly affects the Fundão, Covilhã and Belmonte area, Rodolfo Queiroz, president of CVRBI, admits that 2020 will be a «globally good» year

Wine production in the Beira Interior Regional Vitivinicultural Commission (CVRBI) will drop by "12 to 15 percent" compared to the previous year, when it was around 25.5 million liters. Despite this reduction, Rodolfo Queiroz, president of CVRBI, admits that 2020 will be a year of “great quality”.

According to the official, the harvests, which normally take place from September to October in the region, are "a little delayed" compared to the last few years, having started in the South zone, namely with whites. «In the rest of the region, they will progress gradually. Last week's rains were, as the wine growers used to say, “notes of a tale of kings!”, Because the vineyards were under water stress and this water helped to restore moisture levels and balance the ripeness of the grapes », he highlights the technical director of the Commission and Coordinator of the Chamber of tasters. According to his accounts, this year's production is expected to be around 22 million liters, between DOC Beira Interior, IG Terras da Beira and table wine. «But, as the saying goes,“ even washing the baskets is vintage! ”», He adds, optimistically.

In regional terms, Rodolfo Queiroz points out the existence of high breaks, "in quantitative terms", namely in the Fundão area, where, "first the frosts and then the hail led to that area, together with the municipalities of Covilhã and Belmonte, are the most affected ». However, the CVRBI president believes that the quality of the wine produced this year will be “overall very good across Beira Interior”. Another setback that arises in this campaign for producers is the reduction of the storage capacity of grapes, which, according to Rodolfo Queirós, was mitigated by the use of crisis distillation and private storage, two supports provided by the Government. «These are measures that fall short of what was necessary, but which mitigate the problems of excess stock and storage capacity. If there is one thing that our associates are resilient and, like all of us here in the countryside, they have always been used to living with difficulties and overcoming them and that is what each one is doing, in his own way, ”underlines the leader.

Also in Beira Interior there is a lot of wine of the year in stock due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and producers have been trying to resume sales, but it has not been easy to return to the market. «Many wines remained unsold and we are trying other channels and reinventing ourselves to minimize sales losses», says the official, adding that CVRBI has tried to help promote and increase the reputation of Beira Interior wines with actions such as the Wine Contest and the first edition of Beira Interior Gourmet. The pandemic also affected DOC certification, as CVRBI's growth outlook for 2020 was around 20 percent. «Circumstances have changed and we had a more difficult period between April and June, but sales are recovering. The biggest problem at the moment is the uncertainty we are experiencing and the lack of confidence », underlines Rodolfo Queirós. So much so that the Vitivinicultural Commission was forced to cancel the participation scheduled for the fairs Prowein, in Germany, and Prowine, in Brazil, «Of course, this will have an impact on the exports of our wines and we are already studying other forms of promotion through digital media, for example. But, of course, it is not the same as talking directly to customers and consumers », says the president of CVRBI.

Based in Guarda, CVRBI covers the wine areas of Castelo Rodrigo, Pinhel and Cova da Beira, in the districts of Guarda and Castelo Branco. It has more than 60 members, including four cooperative wineries, and about 16 thousand hectares of vineyards, where the white Syria, Arinto and Fonte Cal grape varieties predominate, and Tinta Roriz, Rufete, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira and Jaen.