Appropriate wine strategies specifically tailored to terroir and individual grapevine varieties

The enormous number of different grapevine varieties on the Iberian Peninsula, most of which are of indigenous origin makes it impossible to ignore the pertinence of terroir. It is obviously that certain grapevine varieties can produced quality wines in several different geological and climatic environments. These would include the red grapevine varieties Tempranillo/Aragonez and Touriga Nacional and the white varieties Gouveio/Godello, Alvarinho and Arinto. Likewise, it is also acknowledged that varieties cultivated in the right terroir produced quality wine, but that the quality is less convincing when those varieties are grown in a different region. Such varieties would include the red varieties Rufete or Moreto, and the white varieties Azal and Avesso. While in Spain terroir studies according to scientific methods have already been conducted in many viticultural areas right down to the level of the plot, in Portugal this problem has been dealt with in the Douro region only. Unfortunately State institutions have not yet had the opportunity to consider funding the research required for this purpose. Even now, there are no standard (high resolution) soil maps of the whole country. Even though OIV professionals were willing to collaborate on such work, several project proposals made by PLANSEL were dismissed. In order to do justice to the huge diversity of practically unknown varieties all but forgotten when new vineyard plantings are made, something more has to be done than merely planting these varieties in a grapevine repository. Dynamic winemakers such as Virgílio Loureiro are always discovering new and interesting types of wine from terroir‑­‐orientated regional varieties which would be less interesting under different circumstances. The systematic analysis of over 100 classified but virtually unknown grapevines varieties has not yet taken place in the sense that they have not gone beyond being planted in a repository nursery nor undergone thorough ampelographic observation. It is, however, the intention of the IVV to begin oenological tests soon. These circumstances clearly demonstrate the importance of having an umbrella agency for wine innovation (as proposed by the Monitor Group) in order to coordinate and standardise terroir research and to coordinate all aspects of the Wine Cluster.