Sogrape 2021 Harvest Report
Quality, elegance, and freshness in a challenging year
The 2021 harvest in Portugal was of good quality and higher in volume than 2020, as a result of the mild year, despite some instability, particularly at harvest time. Sogrape is the leading wine company in Portugal, with a presence in the main wine regions of Douro/Porto, Alentejo, Vinhos Verdes, Dão, Bairrada and in Bucelas (Lisboa). The results are certainly positive, in terms of quality and quantity, reflecting the heterogeneity of the country, and good development of the wines is anticipated.
- A year of overall good quality with higher production than 2020
- Very good white wines, especially from Bucelas
- Lower yields in the Vinhos Verdes region
- High quality with normal yields in the Dão
- Very high quality and greater volumes in the Alentejo
- Douro and Porto wines of very good quality
Luís Sottomayor, head oenologist for Sogrape’s Douro and Port wines, said that the 2021 harvest was challenging but gave rise to “very aromatic, fresh and elegant wines, with good quality and quantity”. Sogrape’s production increased 26% compared to 2020, higher than the region’s average of around 20%. Sogrape’s harvest was long, starting on 23 August with the Muscat grapes from Quinta do Seixo (harvested 2.5 weeks later than in 2020) and finishing on the estates further east at the end of October. There are “high-quality wines, very good, very interesting and elegant, with reasonable structure and lots of fruit” throughout the region.
Luís Cabral de Almeida, Sogrape’s oenologist in the Alentejo, thinks that 2021 was “a more elegant year, with very good quality” and higher volumes than 2020. Yields at Herdade do Peso increased significantly and were above the 10% increase forecast for the Alentejo region as a whole. Luís said that it was “an almost brilliant year in the Alentejo, with very good wines that will make us very happy”.
Beatriz Cabral de Almeida, head of oenology at Quinta dos Carvalhais, said that “2021 was a typical Dão year; hard work and demanding, but one that gave rise to delicate, fresh and elegant wines”. Quinta dos Carvalhais almost doubled the estate’s production compared to the low figures of 2020, while regional production is up by 35%. Beatriz is proud of the work achieved in what has been another complex year for the region. She emphasised how “structured, smooth, fresh and elegant” the wines are, and has very good expectations for the first releases, anticipated in spring.
VINHOS VERDES REGION
António Braga, head of oenology at Quinta de Azevedo and responsible for Sogrape wines in the region, said it was “a challenging year, with lower yields but good results”, thanks to a cool cycle and rain at critical moments. Volumes fell sharply to about 40% less than the Sogrape average over the previous five years. The region recorded significant reductions in volume in areas along the coast, but some increases in the interior. António Braga said it was a demanding harvest (“one of the most complicated” of the 23 he’s had so far), “with lower yields, but of good quality, considering the year overall”.
António Braga, Sogrape’s oenologist responsible for the Lisboa region, said that it was a “very good year at Quinta da Romeira in Bucelas, with very high quality and very promising whites” because of the favourable cycle. Yields at the estate improved by 18% and are in line with 2020, if you consider the Lisboa region as a whole. Quinta da Romeira’s stars are aligned, and all augurs well for the “high expectations” António has for these wines.