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Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 18:33 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by Glenn E.
uncle tom wrote:
15:51 Thu 15 Oct 2020
That last part isn’t going to happen now...or ever.
If you'd heard the conversation, and saw who was advocating it, you wouldn't say never..
Seeing as Vargellas and Vesuvio are both in the Douro Superior, I'm going to go with never.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 18:40 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by Andy Velebil
Glenn E. wrote:
uncle tom wrote:
15:51 Thu 15 Oct 2020
That last part isn’t going to happen now...or ever.
If you'd heard the conversation, and saw who was advocating it, you wouldn't say never..
Seeing as Vargellas and Vesuvio are both in the Douro Superior, I'm going to go with never.
The fact Tom has had one conversation with someone, regardless of the company, doesn’t negate the hundreds (if not more) producers in the Superior that would be put out of business if they revoked that area.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 18:51 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by DRT
Andy Velebil wrote:
18:40 Thu 15 Oct 2020
Glenn E. wrote:
uncle tom wrote:
15:51 Thu 15 Oct 2020
That last part isn’t going to happen now...or ever.
If you'd heard the conversation, and saw who was advocating it, you wouldn't say never..
Seeing as Vargellas and Vesuvio are both in the Douro Superior, I'm going to go with never.
The fact Tom has had one conversation with someone, regardless of the company, doesn’t negate the hundreds (if not more) producers in the Superior that would be put out of business if they revoked that area.
Not to mention the fact that it is arguably the region that produces most of the best wines. Sounds like nonsense to me.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 19:02 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by AHB
JacobH wrote:
21:21 Tue 13 Oct 2020
Andy Velebil wrote:
21:06 Tue 13 Oct 2020
I don’t know why the cut out you mention. I could speculate, if big enough, it may be due to geological issues not being suitable for any type of vineyards??
Quite possibly. But I can’t really see anything obvious around it looking at the satellite photos on Google maps. There’s a bit of forest but then you have that in other places that are firmly within the region.

In addition to the the exclave around Carrazeda de Ansiães, sometimes you see maps marking ones further North, like this one which has one just beyond Mirandela. I sometimes wonder if they are genuine or not since you don’t seem them on every map and they seem very far removed from the centre of the region.
I once asked this exact question - why the big area excluded from the demarcated zone. The answer I was given is consistent with Tom's answer - it is to do with the surface structure: thin soils over granite rather than thin soils over schist. Vines couldn't survive and grow in the heat so the area has never been within the demarcated zone.

If I recall, the answer to the exclave question when I asked was that this land was once part of the estates of Barão Pombal and he wanted the land to be included in the demarcated zone. What he wanted, he tended to get.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 20:07 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by DRT
AHB wrote:
19:02 Thu 15 Oct 2020
JacobH wrote:
21:21 Tue 13 Oct 2020
Andy Velebil wrote:
21:06 Tue 13 Oct 2020
I don’t know why the cut out you mention. I could speculate, if big enough, it may be due to geological issues not being suitable for any type of vineyards??
Quite possibly. But I can’t really see anything obvious around it looking at the satellite photos on Google maps. There’s a bit of forest but then you have that in other places that are firmly within the region.

In addition to the the exclave around Carrazeda de Ansiães, sometimes you see maps marking ones further North, like this one which has one just beyond Mirandela. I sometimes wonder if they are genuine or not since you don’t seem them on every map and they seem very far removed from the centre of the region.
I once asked this exact question - why the big area excluded from the demarcated zone. The answer I was given is consistent with Tom's answer - it is to do with the surface structure: thin soils over granite rather than thin soils over schist. Vines couldn't survive and grow in the heat so the area has never been within the demarcated zone.

If I recall, the answer to the exclave question when I asked was that this land was once part of the estates of Barão Pombal and he wanted the land to be included in the demarcated zone. What he wanted, he tended to get.
I seem to recall reading about this subject in this book a few years ago. My recollection is the same as others in that the excluded areas are of different soil composition to the demarcated region and were therefore deemed unsuitable for producing Port wine.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 20:26 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by jdaw1
uncle tom wrote:
10:54 Thu 15 Oct 2020
Significant players in the port trade are of the opinion that the demarcated area is too large. Without naming names, I have in the past heard them discussing quite seriously the removal of the Douro Superior in its entirety.
I have heard discussed many things that just aren’t going to happen. And — before you suggest it — it wasn’t always me leading the discussion.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 20:45 Thu 15 Oct 2020
by JacobH
jdaw1 wrote:
20:26 Thu 15 Oct 2020
uncle tom wrote:
10:54 Thu 15 Oct 2020
Significant players in the port trade are of the opinion that the demarcated area is too large. Without naming names, I have in the past heard them discussing quite seriously the removal of the Douro Superior in its entirety.
I have heard discussed many things that just aren’t going to happen. And — before you suggest it — it wasn’t always me leading the discussion.
Considering that kicking the Douro Superior out of the demarcated zone would probably be the quickest way to create a new, unregulated Portuguese fortified wine, I would have thought you would be strongly in favour! (Although I bet the conversation was probably along the lines of “Douro Superior except for the vineyards along the Douro up to Vesuvio”, unless the participants were Christian Seely, someone from the Bergqvist family and a Van Zeller!)

If we are speculating about pruning the region, I would have actually thought the stronger argument was at the other end. I’ve read one producer say that the Baixo Corgo is too cold for fortified wines and I could see an argument for the downstream end of that being reserved for Douro DOC rather than Port.
AHB wrote:
19:02 Thu 15 Oct 2020
I once asked this exact question - why the big area excluded from the demarcated zone. The answer I was given is consistent with Tom's answer - it is to do with the surface structure: thin soils over granite rather than thin soils over schist. Vines couldn't survive and grow in the heat so the area has never been within the demarcated zone.

If I recall, the answer to the exclave question when I asked was that this land was once part of the estates of Barão Pombal and he wanted the land to be included in the demarcated zone. What he wanted, he tended to get.
DRT wrote:
20:07 Thu 15 Oct 2020
I seem to recall reading about this subject in this book a few years ago. My recollection is the same as others in that the excluded areas are of different soil composition to the demarcated region and were therefore deemed unsuitable for producing Port wine.
Thank you very much: that’s really informative. And, in the case of DRT, rather indicates the importance of old books about Port!

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 00:00 Fri 16 Oct 2020
by Andy Velebil
JacobH wrote:
20:45 Thu 15 Oct 2020

If we are speculating about pruning the region, I would have actually thought the stronger argument was at the other end. I’ve read one producer say that the Baixo Corgo is too cold for fortified wines and I could see an argument for the downstream end of that being reserved for Douro DOC rather than Port.
That may not be the case if global warming continues. The BC may end being a good place to have a vineyard after all.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 08:38 Fri 16 Oct 2020
by uncle tom
The fact Tom has had one conversation with someone, regardless of the company, doesn’t negate the hundreds (if not more) producers in the Superior that would be put out of business if they revoked that area.
It wasn't one person, and it wasn't the British shippers, but they did appear to be engaged in a serious campaign..

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 15:25 Fri 16 Oct 2020
by Andy Velebil
uncle tom wrote:
The fact Tom has had one conversation with someone, regardless of the company, doesn’t negate the hundreds (if not more) producers in the Superior that would be put out of business if they revoked that area.
It wasn't one person, and it wasn't the British shippers, but they did appear to be engaged in a serious campaign..
Just because a couple of producers, who probably don’t own land in the DS, want it removed, doesn’t mean there’s an effort underway to remove it. Do you honestly think those producers who own land in the DS would ever allow it to happen? Let’s recap how many large and far more influential producers own tens of million or more worth of investments there. SFE, TFP, Sogrape, Ramos Pintos (and their Uber wealthy parent company), Sogevinos, to name just a handful.

Because you’ve heard a off-the-cuff opinion doesn’t make it a fact or reality.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 15:41 Fri 16 Oct 2020
by uncle tom
Because you’ve heard a off-the-cuff opinion doesn’t make it a fact or reality.
Andy, this was not an 'off the cuff opinion' it was several well known producers I happened to be sharing a table with, who were not only of one mind on the subject but were serious about making it happen.

Whether they succeed or not is another matter, but they clearly felt it was worth the effort..

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 17:16 Fri 16 Oct 2020
by Andy Velebil
uncle tom wrote:
Because you’ve heard a off-the-cuff opinion doesn’t make it a fact or reality.
Andy, this was not an 'off the cuff opinion' it was several well known producers I happened to be sharing a table with, who were not only of one mind on the subject but were serious about making it happen.

Whether they succeed or not is another matter, but they clearly felt it was worth the effort..
How many of them own significant (or any) property in the DS?

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 09:53 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by uncle tom
How many of them own significant (or any) property in the DS?
Without checking, I assume none - hence the initiative. Bear in mind that decisions of this nature would not be made in the cosy confines of Porto, but by government ministers in Lisbon, who may be very detached from, and not particularly supportive of, the British interests in Porto.

The whole of southern europe (and its colonies) are prone to distraction politics (although Portugal is not the worst offender). When governments screw up, they tend to look for a bold gesture they can wrap the national flag around to distract attention from their failings. The British shippers will always be at risk from that.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 16:45 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by DRT
uncle tom wrote:
09:53 Sat 17 Oct 2020
How many of them own significant (or any) property in the DS?
Without checking, I assume none - hence the initiative. Bear in mind that decisions of this nature would not be made in the cosy confines of Porto, but by government ministers in Lisbon, who may be very detached from, and not particularly supportive of, the British interests in Porto.

The whole of southern europe (and its colonies) are prone to distraction politics (although Portugal is not the worst offender). When governments screw up, they tend to look for a bold gesture they can wrap the national flag around to distract attention from their failings. The British shippers will always be at risk from that.
I hate to break this to you Tom but there are no "British shippers" left in the Port trade and there hasn't been for at least two generations.

Without exception, all of the Symingtons that I have met, and there have been many, identify as Portuguese. The same can be said of the senior members of The Fladgate Partnership. All of the companies with British heritage closed their London offices and companies many decades ago and all have operated as Portuguese concerns throughout our lifetime. To give the impression that these families somehow still exist in a Victorian colonial corporate bubble in this day and age is really quite bizarre. It is also inconceivable that they could have built the successful businesses they have without engaging with, successfully lobbying and influencing the various branches of Portuguese government and regulators.

...and if you want to see the current best examples of distraction politics you need look no further than Westminster and Washington DC :wink:

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 16:52 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by jdaw1
DRT wrote:
16:45 Sat 17 Oct 2020
I hate to break this to you Tom but there are no "British shippers" left in the Port trade and there hasn't been for at least two generations.
Yes there are. They are the members of the Factory House — both of the members.

DRT wrote:
16:45 Sat 17 Oct 2020
the current best examples of distraction politics you need look no further than Westminster and Washington DC
An interesting choice of superlative.

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 16:57 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by DRT
jdaw1 wrote:
16:52 Sat 17 Oct 2020
DRT wrote:
16:45 Sat 17 Oct 2020
I hate to break this to you Tom but there are no "British shippers" left in the Port trade and there hasn't been for at least two generations.
Yes there are. They are the members of the Factory House — both of the members.

DRT wrote:
16:45 Sat 17 Oct 2020
the current best examples of distraction politics you need look no further than Westminster and Washington DC
An interesting choice of superlative.
I agree that two large Portuguese companies and one small Portuguese company are the sole surviving members of a Portuguese association known as "the British factory House".

Happy with worst if you prefer?

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 17:27 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by uncle tom
OK - picky picky..

For 'British shippers' read 'Port producing companies that have British names or brands'

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 18:12 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by JacobH
I didn't realise the factory house had so few members. I assumed it would have become something like a social club as its political importance declined. Do they still own the building?

Also, whilst I don't doubt what DRT says, Johnny Symington was honoury British counsel in Porto until 2013 which does suggest a bit more of a connection to HM the Queen than the average João Silva!

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 20:43 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by DRT
uncle tom wrote:
17:27 Sat 17 Oct 2020
OK - picky picky..

For 'British shippers' read 'Port producing companies that have British names or brands'
My point is that they are Portuguese companies and therefore have access to influence Portuguese government policy as much if not more than any of their neighbours do. They can no longer write to the British Embassy in Lisbon complaining about how the nasty Portuguese government is treating them like they would have done in the 18th century :wink:
JacobH wrote:
18:12 Sat 17 Oct 2020
Also, whilst I don't doubt what DRT says, Johnny Symington was honoury British counsel in Porto until 2013 which does suggest a bit more of a connection to HM the Queen than the average João Silva!
I concede on Johnny's undoubted Britishness, but strongly suspect his company is Portuguese :D

Re: Beneficio and emergency measures of the IVDP

Posted: 22:04 Sat 17 Oct 2020
by JacobH
DRT wrote:
20:43 Sat 17 Oct 2020
My point is that they are Portuguese companies and therefore have access to influence Portuguese government policy as much if not more than any of their neighbours do. They can no longer write to the British Embassy in Lisbon complaining about how the nasty Portuguese government is treating them like they would have done in the 18th century :wink:
Again, I’m not disputing the generality of what you say but it’s quite interesting having a look at the Companies House documents to see how this has been taking place. For example, I can’t readily find anything connected to any of the TFP brands beyond Metzendorff (which, of course, carries out its business in the UK). Sogrape set up a UK subsidiary called Geo. G. Sandeman & Co. in 2001 but that seems to be purely for accounting or tax reasons since its most recent income was €1.1M of “licensing fees” with a big proportion of that coming from either Sogrape or Sandeman Jerez. Looking at the Symingtons, Grahams (Oporto) Limited still exists but has been dormant since at least 1989. Dow’s, though, is a different story. Reading the accounts, I get the impression that the British company Silva and Cosens was only really removed from the picture in 2017: the stocks of wine and Port went first in 2005 (when they were estimated as having a value of £27.3M) and remaining assets (particularly the vineyards and plant) at the end of 2017. They were then valued at €7.6M. I wonder if Brexit might have pushed them into doing this?

I can see a few ancient references to other “British” shippers like Delaforce and Croft but nothing very interesting.

(PS. If Johnny Symington was “our man in Porto” until 2013, couldn’t he have just written to HMG himself asking for a gunboat to sail up the Douro rather than bothering with Lisbon? Not that we’d do that, of course...Treaty of Windsor and all that!)