Meilenstein für die pittoreske Weinregion
Douro Primeira Prova
Any instance of all the leading wine estates of a region joining forces and choosing to make all their new wines available for appraisal would be in itself a rarity. The fact that the producers would choose a museum hall in the middle of a breathtakingly beautiful winegrowing region for the event, invite merchants & critics from all over the world and present them with the opportunity to taste wines at their own pace and according to their own individual selection, is downright sensational. But this just happened in Portugal’s fabled winegrowing region, the Douro Valley.
Tasting the wines, focused & concentrated| Photo © Douro Primeira Prova
Lauren Mowery (USA) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Christian Burgos (Brasilien) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Nadia Fournier (Kanada)| Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Noriko Inagaki (Japan) bei der Dinner Party auf Quinta do Vallado | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Liora Levi (Norwegen) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Richard Mayson (UK) mit Sandra Tavares und Francisco Olazabal | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Klára Kollárová (Tschechien)| Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Stefan Keller (Schweiz)| Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Axel Probst (Deutschland) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Tom Marthinsen (Norwegen) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Sarah Ahmed (UK) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Jørn G. Broll (Norwegen), Denis Rudenko (rechts vorne | Russland), Lars Daniëls (links hinten | Niederlande) & Thomas Rydberg (rechts hinten Dänemark) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Behind the scenes: Carlos Agrellos (on the left) & Christian Seely | beide von Quinta do Noval & Quinta da Romaneira | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Tiago Oliveira (Symington Family Estates) & Ana Carvalho (Quinta do Noval & Quinta da Romaneira) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Verkostungsort: Museu do Douro | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Iza Kaminska (Polen) | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Nach der Probe: Exkursion in die Weinberge | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Verkoster & Produzenten bei der Dinner Party auf Quinta do Vallado | Foto © Douro Primeira Prova
Twenty-six producers will be releasing a total of 167 new wines this autumn. The white & rosé wines come from the vintage 2018, while the reds are one year older, as are the Vintage Ports, harvested in 2017. Just about three months before the wines actually become available, experts from all over the world were given the opportunity to taste & evaluate these wines and Ports, with great concentration and minimal distraction. For the first time – under the title ‘Douro Primeira Prova’– these leading estates invited the industry and the press to a highly professional tasting in northern Portugal’s picturesque Douro valley.
For journalists, this tasting provided a stellar opportunity to taste and evaluate all the relevant wines of the region alongside one other, without having to travel hundreds of kilometres in the heat on the winding roads of the Douro Valley. For merchants & sommeliers alike,Douro Primeira Provaoffers insight – not only a preview of the vintage, but also a close look at the individual estates. Observing the development in quality of the producers – some still quite young – is as important as following stylistic trends at the well-established estates.
Participants from all over the world
More than ninety tasters from all over the world took advantage of these opportunities. They came to the Douro from the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria & Spain. And of course from Portugal itself: the nation’s leading journalists & sommeliers came to taste some 170 wines from the leading producers of the Douro Valley – a growers’ association called The New Douro.
The tasting format
This was a set tasting laid out in schoolroom format. Native Portuguese and international wine professionals could choose from a total of six time slots from 3–5 June. The interest was even greater than the producers had ever dreamed. Entirely possible, that the great renown of the 2017 Vintage Ports might have contributed to the strong demand… 2017 is considered by experts to be among the best vintages ever, and often compared with the legendary 1945.
Initial silence, then the conversation
While the event was organised as a ‘silent tasting’, and at most only a few whispered words could be overheard, evenings provided ample space and time for collegial exchange and conversation. Participants attended dinner parties given at the Quintas, where they were able to converse with & question the producers, receiving first-hand answers to satisfy their curiosity.
After the tasting is before the tasting
The dates for ‘Douro Primeira Prova’ 2020 have already been set! The 2019 white wines and the 2018 reds [and vintage ports (aber ob man 2018 als Vintage erklären wird???)] will be available for tasting from 1–3 June 2020 at the Museu do Douro in Régua. High demand suggests that it is not too early now to think about securing your place. Please register at: email@example.com
‘Douro Primeira Prova’ is organised by the winegrowers’ group THE NEW DOURO.
Book your tasting slots now!
The Douro Primeira Prova will be showcasing 26 wineries and their most recent vintages. 150 wines can be tasted and scored in the form of a ’silent tasting‘ in slots from 9-12 and from 13-16 hrs. each day.
Tel.: +43 1 369 79 900
Douro Primeira Prova Venue
Museu do Douro
Rua Marquês de Pombal
5050-282 Peso da Régua, Portugal
In order to tell the tale of ‘The New Douro’, one must first cast a glance back at the history of ‘The Old Douro’. Port has been produced there for more than 300 years, but the production of still wines first picked up momentum after the end of the Second World War. The winegrowers’ group ‘The New Douro’ came to life in 2004, thanks to Paul Symington, Dirk Niepoort and Cristiano van Zeller, with the goal of promoting still wines from the Douro Valley. This was seen as a paradigm-shift at a time when a new generation of young growers took the helm from their elders, and recognised in one another the opportunity for creating and developing synergy (rather than indulging in rivalry), in order to achieve a common goal – making first-rate still wines in the Douro! Thus, with ‘The New Douro’, a new era began in the long and storied history of the region’s wine trade.