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Being an Ambassador of wines of Portugal it is a great honor to take part in an annual WINES OF PORTUGAL CHALLENGE. This year it should have been 10th edition, but pandemic situation restricted realisation of one of editions in 2020, so this time it was 9th edition. This wine competition is exclusively dedicated to wines produced all around the territory of Portugal - mainland and islands. So for jurors it is great opportunity to taste in one place (however it is blind) diversity of grape varieties grown around the Portugal and their expressions in differente terroirs.

Challenge is organised since 2013. For the first edition there were presented one thousand and seven wines for evaluation. Since then popularity of this wine competition between wine producers has grown gradually every year. Comparing latest edition of 2022 with the very first edition of the competition in 2013 the grow is 44%. That is related not only with the growth of new brands, but also with recognition and popularity of wines from Portugal on internal end external market. Grate work for popularisation of Portuguese wines abroad is done by Interprofessional Organization - VINI PORTUGAL (WINES OF PORTUGAL).

For the 9th edition of PORTUGAL WINE CHALLENGE 2022 were presented 1450 samples for tasting. Similar to other wine competitions, jurors are working in groups of five along tree days. Work starts early in the morning while our taste buds are still young and fresh. The difference from the other competitions is in fact that all wines from one flight are served at once. Each juror gives its evaluation for each wine individually and only after individual work is done and average points are calculated, discussion around the table might start.

I had an opportunity to taste and give my evaluation to forty six wines along six flights. The first flight was dedicated to Arinto (Pedernã) white grape variety. Second flight was about white wines with no specific indication of grape variety. Third, fourth and fifth flights were dedicated to red wines of 2019, 2018 and 2017 correspondingly. The last flight was dedicated to liqueur and fortified wines. All in all our juror table has given twelve Gold medals. No Grate Gold medals are given by any juror table along three days of tastings. That is the other particularity of this wine competition that Grate Gold medals are given by special juror committee (Grande Júri) composed of Master Sommeliers, Master of Wines, journalists, presidents of certification entities and winemakers. Candidates for the Grate Gold are wines that have received Gold Medals in the first round judging.

This wine competition is exclusively dedicated to wines produced all around the territory of Portugal - mainland and islands.

Here is the list of best from the best from 2022 according to WINES OF PORTUGAL CHALLENGE 2022:

  • The Best of the Year – Casa de Santar Vinha dos Amores Encruzado, 2017, Global Wines, Dão wine region.

  • The Best of the Year Red Wine (Blend) - Falcoaria Grande Reserva, 2018, Casal Branco, Tejo region.

  • The Best of the Year White Wine (Blend) - QUINTA DA REDE VINHA DO PINHEIRO, 2018, Quinta da Rede, Douro region.

  • The Best of the Year White Wine (Blend) - Falcoaria Colheita Tardia, 2016 Casal Branco, Tejo wine region.

This is the short list of the wines from Portugal that you should include this year on your tasting list. For more award winning wines look here. To have a complete experience, you should visit Portugal! For private tastings and cellar visits contact me directly.




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