The Douro River meandering through the terraced vineyards, Source: Unsplash

The 2023 European Wine City is the Douro in Portugal

The 2023 European Wine City is the Douro in Portugal

Yes, it’s a region rather than a city, but when we talk about oenology, no one can ignore its significance

“All Around Wine, All Around Douro” is the motto used by Douro for the 2023 European Wine City contest and it was among the many features that impressed the jury so much that it awarded the Portuguese region the coveted title.

The Douro, as it is more commonly known, is actually a rural region, rather than a city, named after one of Portugal’s main rivers, and also one of its world-famous viticultural territories. The valley meandering in the north of the country has become synonymous with port wine, and it is in fact the only place which can legally name its production that way.

This is, in a sense, a second grand recognition for the Douro Valley after it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. This was done to preserve the cultural landscape and traditional practices around wine production that have shaped the area for millennia.

What to expect

The inter-municipal community of Douro (CIM Douro) said in a statement on 2 January that the presentation gala of the Douro European Wine Capital will be held on 4 February, in Lamego. CIM Douro consists of 19 municipalities comprising the region that joined forces to present a collective candidature.

The statement explains the reasoning behind the application for this prestigious accolade: “It is intended that the territory will convey, represent and be an economic, social and cultural brand, an example of harmonious interaction between Man and Nature. It deposits in the essence of this project the authentic and solidary spirit of the Douro, the oldest demarcated and regulated wine region in the world.

Additionally, it states that with the title, the year 2023 will be used as an opportunity to open up the Douro to the world, not only as an agricultural region but also as a place of natural beauty marked by a navigable river.

The European Capital of Wine is an annual competition launched by the European Network of Wine Cities (RECEVIN) in 2012, which aims to promote tourism and the dissemination of European wine-producing regions, having a rotating character among the various countries that are part of the network.

RECEVIN is supported by the national wine associations present in most of the 11 member countries of the network – Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Serbia.



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