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Lisbon ,  May 15, 2019

Wine Summit 2019 Annual Conference closes with visit to Pico

The Regional Government, through the Regional Directorates for Tourism and Agriculture, supports the visit to Pico Island on June 29 under the Wine Summit 2019 Annual Conference, an event to be attended by participants from Europe, USA and Canada. The purpose of this visit is to make the most influential national and international participants in this area better acquainted with landscape and the vineyard culture on the island of Pico as well as with wines from this and other Azorean islands.
The information was revealed in Lisbon at the press conference for the presentation of the Wine Summit World Conference: Must - Fermenting Ideas. The session was attended by the Regional Director for Tourism and the Regional Director for Agriculture.
According to the Regional Directorate for Tourism, "the conference's closing trip to the island of Pico" will surely be "a huge success" as, in terms of promotion, "this is a very interesting initiative that will have impact on the worldwide projection Pico's vineyard culture."
Cíntia Martins pointed out that Pico is "the perfect setting to host participating speakers and members of the press that will take part in the Wine Summit, namely wine experts as well as the more general press, such as the New York Times."
"With a programme dedicated to Wine, this visit to the island of Pico will certainly close another edition of the Wine Summit Annual Conference with a golden key, considering, on the one hand, the Cultural Landscape of the Pico Vineyard Culture, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and, on the other hand, the existence of wine producers of excellence," stressed the government official.
According to the Regional Director, "it is increasingly important" to highlight the various tourism products defining the identity of the Azores and of each island, where wine is "considered a product of excellence. The island of Pico is a land with a long wine tradition, whose locally-produced wines are appreciated throughout the Archipelago as well as in the national and international markets, namely in the USA, where some wines have already been distinguished for their quality with numerous awards.
The Regional Director for Agriculture, José Élio Ventura, stated that this event is another opportunity to raise awareness about the "good work" that has been carried out on the island of Pico in terms of landscape and vineyard recovery, and its subsequent impact on the economic, business and tourism dynamics.
The Pico wine region, classified as world heritage in 2004, was a major achievement for the Azoreans, especially for the inhabitants of Pico Island, who saw an important part of their architectural heritage, legacy of several generations being duly recognised.
Located at the foot of the highest Portuguese mountain, at an altitude of 2,351 metres, the landscape of the Pico vineyards transports us to the volcano that gave rise to the island, a unique place where "verdelho" wine is produced. It was even sold to the Vatican and served at the table of the Russian tsars.
"The wine produced in these conditions, besides being a very special and unique wine in the world, is of very good quality. There, the grapes nourish themselves from the rock and can achieve a remarkable degree of quality. These noble grape varieties produce wines of excellence," said the Regional Director.
José Élio Ventura pointed out that profound structural changes are under way in the wine industry of the archipelago, in general, and of Pico Island. These changes are evidenced in the increase certified vineyard areas in production that reaches almost 1,000 hectares, being the vast majority located on the island of Pico. Additionally, the government official also mentioned the increase in the number of producers, the growing production and the promotion of wine.
"The growth that we have seen in this sector is truly remarkable, with very significant impacts on the environment, the landscape and the economy of islands such as Pico," said José Élio Ventura. On the occasion, he stressed that the Region has "unique characteristics and conditions for the production of high-quality wines, strictly complying with all the criteria stipulated for good agricultural and wine production practices, being recognised internationally."
The figures demonstrate this success story. According to the Regional Director, "the production of certified wines reached 450 thousand litres in 2018, representing the largest wine production ever to be certified. There are prospects that wine production eligible for certification will exceed 1 million litres in 2020."
In the Azores, there are 38 brands of certified wine, several hundred individual producers and three wine regions: Biscoitos (Terceira), Graciosa and Pico. Moreover, the regional white and red wines that meet the stipulated conditions are also certified with the Protected Geographical Indication.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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