Renovation measures undertaken by the private sector
In 1969 the German company owned by Hans Jörg Böhm (the founder of PLANSEL) was the largest importer of Portuguese wines in Germany, and this is how he began acquiring the knowledge which would prove useful later on.
With the help of a lawyer by the name of Dr. Vera Jardim (jointly responsible for drafting the legislation on foreign investments), Hans Jörg Böhm was able to establish a company in 1976, which was the first to be founded with foreign capital in post‑revolutionary Portugal.
Right from the beginning, Böhm arranged for German wine distributors and journalist to visit Portugal. After moving to Portugal, this became a strategy which had the support of various organisations, including the IVV, and local companies and residents of Montemor. Many German companies became importers of Portuguese wine as a result. Böhm published articles in leading wine trade reviews on Portuguese wines, their viticultural regions, and on progress in respect of selection of autochthonous grapevine varieties for conservation.
PLANSEL, the nursery company meanwhile established to produce grapevine propagation material recognized very early on the need for a common policy for all players within the different branches of the wine sector. Many of its branches had no
contact at all with one another, and policy decisions were therefore issued in what me be termed an autocratic manner by government officials; if these policies turned out to be badly conceived, then new official pronouncements, often contradictory in content, were made. This process was not particularly conducive to progress.
At this time, PLANSEL had the good fortune to receive additional support from the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers, CAP. This led PLANSEL in the early 1990s to suggest a joint meeting of all stakeholders in the wine industry from both the public and private sectors. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Agriculture with the purpose of discussing an inter‑‐professional organisation through which dialogue between all those involved in the wine industry could take place, instead of decisions on fundamental issues being summarily made by officialdom. It was most encouraging that the event was well‑‐attended, and that participants were unanimously in favour of the idea. Unfortunately, this proposal was rejected by the Ministry on the grounds that restricted transferability applied to ministerial directives. PLANSEL made several attempts with a number of well‑‐attended seminars with speakers from abroad to work towards the idea of an umbrella organisation for the wine industry. During this time the found of PLANSEL collaborated extensively with Eng. Raposo Palma, who had already been successful in establishing ATEVA (Associação Técnica dos Viticultores do Alentejo – The Technical Association of Viticulturalists of the Alentejo).
The attempts by the official administration (Carlos Portas)to create grassroots communication in its various state organisations with the so‑‐called conselhos consultivos, or advisory boards, was a good approach, albeit seldom used. With the proper delegation of responsibilities to the new inter‑‐professional organizations, the CVRs (regional viticultural commissions), and ViniPortugal (wine promotion and marketing), successful steps have now been made towards achieving a sustainable future for the wine industry.
After completing her degree in oenology at Geisenheim University, Böhm’s daughter came to Portugal and began producing her own wines which she developed based on the research results achieved by her father and the University of Évora. The PLANSEL winery has over 65 hectares of vineyards at its disposal, all of which have been planted to grapevine varieties which have been the subject of research for many years. Some two‑‐thirds of PLANSEL’s wine is exported.
Awareness campaigns on inter‑professionalism
- 1988: Seminar in Montemor “Suggestions for creating inter‑‐professional structures in the wine industry“, PLANSEL / CAP
- 1990: Seminar held at the nation agricultural research station in Oeiras “Portugal’s Wine Industry in 2000 ‑‐ Call for the Need for an Inter‑‐professional Wine Distribution Agency” (1992), joint sponsorship by PLANSEL and CAP
- 2003: First International Symposium ISHS on Grapevine Growing, Commerce and Research, coordinated by J. Böhm, sponsored by PLANSEL and CAP
- 2010: Symposium at the University of Évora: „The Glorious History of our Grapevine Varieties ‑‐ A Commitment to the Future“, sponsored by Bayer and PLANSEL
Overseas publications on Portuguese viticulture
- Chance oder Gefahr für die EG – Portugal (1984), Hans Jörg Böhm, die Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 26/84
- Weinbau mit vielen Chancen in der EG (1985), Hans Jörg Böhm, die Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 28/85
- Strukturen und Absatzwege Portugals (1986), Hans Jörg Böhm, die Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 14/86
- Interview: “Divided and rule‑‐less, Portugal needs to put its vineyards in order if it is to benefit from her membership of the EEC“ (1986), Hans Jörg Böhm, as quoted in Wine and Spirit, February 1986
- Umstellung auf Qualitätswein (1987), Hans Jörg Böhm, Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 6/87
- Mit grossen Schritten in eine europäische Zukunft (1988), Hans Jörg Böhm, Alles über Wein, Nr. 2/88
- Qualitätsweine auf dem Wege in den deutschen Handel (1989), Hans Jörg Böhm, Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 24/89
- VQPRD‑‐Qualitätsweingebiete abgegrenzt (1990), Hans Jörg Böhm, Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 16/90
- Found: Rotweine aus dem Alentejo (1991), Hans Jörg Böhm, Weinwirtschaft, Nr. 23/91
- Leichtwein aus dem Norden Portugals (1993), Hans Jörg Böhm, Weinwirtschaft Nr. 9/93
- “Portugal Vitícola: O Grande Livro das Castas” (2007), Autor‑‐Coordenador Hans Jörg Böhm (Editora Chaves Ferreira)
- Rebsortenatlas Spanien und Portugal—Geschichte, Terroir und Ampelographie (2011), Hans Jörg Böhm (Herausgeber Ulmer Verlag)
Publications (relating to the founding of a wine marketing agency)
- The Seminar on, “Portugal’s Wine Industry in 2000 ‑‐ Call for the Need for an Inter‑‐professional Wine Distribution Agency” (1992), Hans Jörg Böhm, Vida Rural, No. 22/92
- The Portuguese wine industry needs to move towards creating its own inter‑‐ professional wine marketing agency (1992), Hans Jörg Böhm, Revista do agricultor, June 1992
- The founder of PLANSEL launched the Vine to Wine Circle portal on the Internet in three languages (German, Portuguese and English) with a view to providing information on grapevine varieties, quality wine regions, history and terroir, as well as to stimulate international interest in wines from Spain and Portugal.
Measures on the globalisation of Portuguese grapevine varieties
- 1992–1999: USA ‑‐ Cornell University, New York (Prof. Denis Gonsalves, and Prof. David Altman) – American tobacco
- 2003–2009: USA ‑‐ University of California, Davis, Dr. Deborah Golino (FPS) ‑‐ Sunridge and E&J Gallo: Official certification and distribution of PLANSEL grapevine clones on a larger scale
- 2004: Australia – South Australian Grapevine Improvement SA: Official certification and distribution of PLANSEL grapevine clones on a larger scale
- 2006–2009: New Zealand ‑‐ Riversun Nursery: Official certification and distribution of PLANSEL grapevine clones on a larger scale