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Portugal’s Douro named European City of Wine 2023

The Douro Valley, home to the country’s Port production, has been named as this year’s European City of Wine, despite not technically being a city.

View of the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley on either side of the River Douro: Portugal's Douro named European City of Wine 2023

Famous for its fortified wines, the Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site.

The region was named European City of Wine 2023 in June last year, and the Douro Intermunicipal Community (CIM Douro), a local administrative division in the region, has said it has “dozens of initiatives” planned throughout the year “to show the Douro to Europe”.

“With this distinction as European City of Wine 2023, the Douro cherishes the legitimate desire for the region to be a major contributor to national exports, to make wine and vineyards a concrete and real lever for the development of its economy and the wealth of those who live and work here” CIM Douro said in a statement.

CIM Douro was launched in 2009 and comprises the municipalities of Alijó, Armamar, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Lamego, Mesão Frio, Moimenta da Beira, Murça, Penedono, Peso da Régua, Sabrosa, Santa Marta de Penaguião, São João da Pesqueira, Sernancelhe, Tabuaço, Tarouca, Torre de Moncorvo, Vila Nova de Foz Coa and Vila Real.

The administrative group described the new accolade as an “opportunity to promote wine tourism, culture and heritage and to be able to welcome visitors with dignity and amply, highlighting wine as a strategic element and essence of our economic activity”.

The presentation gala celebrating the region as the European City of Wine is set to take place on 4 February at 9pm, at the Multiusos de Lamego.

In May 2022 db reported that the socio-economic impact of increasing price pressure will threaten one of Portugal’s oldest wine regions, not climate change. Read more on that story here.

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