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Alentejo

Present and Future

The wine region is currently experiencing a situation of stability and affirmation in domestic and international markets (Source: IVV, 2015), while continuing to invest in its development (Table No. 6).

Traditionally, it is a pleasant area with a sunny climate and lush landscapes of little relief. I even remember my family enjoyed talking of Alentejo (Figure No. 28) as a great producer of cereals, known as the "Celeiro de Portugal" (Barn of Portugal) during the Estado Novo (NT: a period of 38 years of dictatorship in Portugal. Cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estado_Novo_(Portugal)). Today, in addition to producing cereals, the region has the production capacity of many other cultures that give dynamism to it such as: the growing of vines, cattle, olive growing and mounted.

The recent construction of the Alqueva dam, known as the largest artificial lake in Europe (Source: BBC NEWS, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1808734.stm), has contributed to an increase in the irrigation capacity of the region of 10%, which represents a qualitative step forward in particular for viticulture, to correct water deficits that result from most rigorous summers.

As the region has been very dynamic in innovation and professionalism, there are now a number of wine cellars very well-equipped and prepared for the future, like for example the Adega Mayor, both in terms of equipment or the level of highly qualified professional teams. The future of this region has thus very promising challenges.

In my opinion, the potential of the variety of cultures growth is, of course, a huge challenge for development of the agricultural industry, which also combines the historical component and rich heritage, strongly driven by the Wine Tourism. My vision of the future for the Alentejo region, in particular for the wine-growing area: I foresee planting more native grape varieties of Portugal for the association of different grape varieties that contribute to keeping the ampelographic "treasure" of the country.

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