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Heatwave causes 9 million euros damage to Lisbon vineyards

Staff Writer | August 28, 2018
The early August heatwave caused 9 million euros ($10.51 million) worth of damage to vineyards in the Lisbon area, the Regional Winemakers Commission (CVR) said on Monday.
Lisbon vineyards
Middle East   Some winemakers were effected in dramatic fashion
"Some winemakers were effected in dramatic fashion and lost a large part of their production," said Bernardo Gouvea, president of the Lisbon branch of the CVR.

He told the Lusa Portuguese News Agency that the production was likely to be 30 percent lower in 2018 than 2017, with 106,000 tonnes of grapes ruined by the heat.

The CVR has sent an inventory of the damage to the Ministry of Agriculture and asked for government compensation.

"Most producers do not have insurance," said Gouvea, before adding that even those who do are not covered by heatwave damage due to it being "a rare phenomenon in the region." He said the CVR was working to help winemakers "adapt their insurance policies to meet the realities of climate change."

Temperatures between Aug. 2 and 5 broke records throughout Portugal. According to the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), 26 of 96 weather stations registered historic maximums, with the center of the country particularly badly effected. This included the Lisbon region, which saw all-time highs of 44 degrees celsius.

The Lisbon district is one of the largest wine growing regions in Portugal with 18,000 hectares of vineyards.

Pear production has likewise been hit, the National Association of Rocha Pear Producers (ANP) announced on Monday.

Luis Domingos dos Santos, president of the ANP, predicted a fall in the overall harvest of between 15 and 25 percent.

"The heat burned the most exposed fruit rendering it unfit for sale," he said, "but the shock of the heat also caused a thermal reaction that halted the rest of the fruits' growth."