Identifying research opportunities at Douro Demarcated Region

The Douro Demarcated Region, in Northern Portugal, offers outstanding wines with unique characteristics. Due to the today’s globalized marketplace, local producers often need to further develop their cultivation techniques to remain competitive. The Association of Viticultural Development in the Douro Valley (ADVID) works as a unit of experimentation, offering services and training to meet the demands of the Douro’s vitiviniculturists. In 2009 the Association was promoted as “Douro Wines Cluster” by the Ministry of Economy of Portugal. That act requires an integrated plan to increase the level of technical and economical competence of the sector, as a differential of competitiveness for enterprises in the country and worldwide.
As a consequence, this work results in the creation of an action plan that represents the interests of members of ADVID. Therefore, in order to identify the producer’s technical constraints, a qualitative survey was conducted, from April to August 2009 with members of the Douro Wines Cluster. That survey brought together a representative set of stakeholders, taking into account distinct member’s profiles in terms of area under vineyards and location. The work identified 39 overriding Research and Development necessities for the region. The final list provides general guidelines to steer strategic research which are deemed to be the most relevant for the development of the Douro wine cluster.

Authors: José Vicente Martins (MESG – Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal), Lia Patrício (MESG – Faculty of Engineering University of Porto, Portugal), Fernando Alves (Association of Viticultural Development in the Douro Valley, Peso da Régua, Portugal), Henriqueta Nóvoa (Faculty of Engineering University of Porto, Portugal)

Emails: jose.vicente@fe.up.pt; lpatric@fe.up.pt; fernando.alves@advid.pt; hnovoa@fe.up.pt

Keywords: Wines, vines, viticulture, Douro, Cluster, Strategic Management

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