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Port wine over 80 years old is now classified

Interprofessional Council of the IVDP approved two new mentions in Port wines of the special category Indication of Age.
Port wine will have two new mentions in the special categories, the 50 Years Old Tawny Port or the 50 Years White Port, and the Very Very Old Tawny Port, reserved for wines over 80 years old. The decision was already taken at the headquarters of the Interprofessional Council of the Institute of Douro and Porto Wines (IVDP) and should soon be published in the Diário da República.

The two mentions are the result of six months of work between representatives of production, trade and technical services of the IVDP itself, who sought to adapt and update regulation 242/2010 that establishes the regime applicable to the protection and presentation of appellations of origin Porto and Douro and the geographical indication Duriense.

Special categories are those that have grown the most in recent years, even in a context of crisis, being especially valued in some markets, such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom or Belgium, among others, for which wine companies In recent years, Porto wines have increasingly sought to invest in these wines with greater added value. And the sector has long been showing interest in having a 50 Years Tawny addition to the existing ones. Some companies have launched single-harvest wines to mark half a century, but the aim is to have this mention as part of the companies' portfolio and not as special and limited editions. These will be blended wines aged in cask for 50 years.

In addition, another category is created for very old wines, which will always be at least 80 years old. These will be wines with an absolutely distinctive aging, and will be renamed Very Very Old Tawny Port. They correspond to some rare releases that have been made in recent years, in exclusive editions, such as Taylor's Scion, the first of all, in 2008, a 150-year-old Porto, or more recently, the 1866 Vallado Adelaide Tributa Porto, Carvalhas Memories of the 19th century Porto, Quinta do Crasto Honore Porto or Graham's Ne Oublie. All wines sold at more than 2500 euros a bottle, with some even reaching over 6,000 euros.

"Companies have made an enormous effort to reactivate sales. The collective promotion actions of the IVDP have not started yet, due to the great demands that the institute has in its statute, in terms of public contracting, but they are going to start now. And the companies are. seeking to reinvent themselves to get out of the 2020 decline", explains the executive director of the Association of Port Wine Companies (AEVP), Isabel Marrana. It should be remembered that Port wine was heavily penalized by the pandemic, whether in the national market, with the lack of tourists and where losses reached 40%, or in exports, with a fall of 4%.

Sales recover

But the first six months of 2021 have already brought good news: almost 3.5 million cases (nine liters) of Port wine were sold, worth 152.7 million euros, a year-on-year increase of 19.1% in volume and 24.8% in value. Even more important is the comparison with the average from 2018 to 2020, and this year, it has already grown 8.7% in quantity and 13% in value, although the national market is still at 7.8% and 15, 9% below, respectively.
The amendment and update to regulation 242/2010 also provides for a qualitative increase in the Douro brandy, in the sense that it follows the aging of prestigious international brandies, such as cognac, raising the bar compared to what is traditional in the period of aging of national spirits.


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