Como funciona o sistema de benefício no Vinho do Porto

Making Port Wine - fortification the must ofUm dos pontos mais importantes para perceber a engrenagem do Vinho do Porto é o sistema do benefício. Devido à sua complexidade, este tema é quase sempre um pedra no sapato daqueles que querem perceber melhor o funcionamento do Douro e do Vinho do Porto. Vamos tentar dar uma ideia do seu funcionamento.

Em 1756, o Marquês de Pombal delimitou pela primeira vez a região do Douro, afim de preservar a qualidade e a genuinidade dos vinhos produzidos. Mais tarde, em 1932, a Casa do Douro, uma associação de viticultores do Douro, teve a missão de cadastrar todas as parcelas de vinha do Douro. Surgiu então a questão de como preservar a qualidade e controlar a quantidade de Vinho do Porto produzida pelos vitivinicultores. Posteriormente, em 1948, com a informação recolhida durante as décadas anteriores e com os dados sobre a quantidade e qualidade das diferentes zonas do Douro, é instituído uma metodologia de classificação da parcelas, conhecida como Método de Pontuação de Moreira da Fonseca, a qual se baseia em 3 critérios principais: solo, clima e condições culturais. Cada um destes critérios é então dividido em quatro parâmetros:

Solo: natureza do terreno; pedregosidade; produtividade; declive.

Clima: localização; altitude; abrigo; exposição.

Condições culturais: castas; armação/condução; idade; compasso.

Cada vinha recebe uma pontuação para cada um destes parâmetros. A soma dos pontos obtidos em cada um dos parâmetros permite depois agrupar as vinhas em 6 grupos, classificando-os com uma letra, de A a F:

A quantidade total de Vinho do Porto a produzir é determinada anualmente pelo IVDP – Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto e está fortemente relacionada com as vendas e com os stocks existentes. Se as vendas aumentam a quantidade produzida de Vinho do Porto tende a aumentar, e o mesmo se houver uma quebra das vendas.

Quantidade de mosto generoso a fortificar, em litros por hectare, em 2010

Em 2010 a produção total foi de 60.500.000 litros.

Depois de ser atingida a quota de Vinho do Porto, as uvas que restam são utilizadas para a produção de Vinho do Douro. No passado, as melhores uvas eram exclusivamente utilizadas para a produção de Vinho do Porto. Actualmente, procura-se um equilíbrio, utilizando-se uvas das melhores parcelas tanto para Vinho do Porto como para Vinho do Douro.

Assim, resumindo em poucas palavras o sistema do benefício, as parcelas de vinha da região demarcada do Douro estão todas classificadas sendo-lhes atribuida uma letra que irá determinar a quantidade de Vinho do Porto que se pode fazer em cada parcela, em função da quantidade autorizada anualmente, dependendo das vendas e dos excedentes dos anos anteriores.

Certamente que este artigo não esclareceu todas as suas questões sobre o beneficio. Deixe as suas dúvidas e assim podemos ajudar a esclarecer questões futuras de outros leitores.

Oscar

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.

  • Jamie Goode

    So if you have beneficio, although it is tied to a vineyard, can you sell it as a piece of paper? Can port houses buy the beneficio from a grower and then not use the grower’s grapes, but use more of their own grapes for port? And even if legally the beneficio has to be linked to the grapes, does this sort of thing happen?

    • Oscar Quevedo

      Great point Jamie. Legally, the beneficio has to be linked to the grapes of the vineyard the beneficio comes from. But not always this is respected and it is sold as a piece of paper, as you say.

      Any winery that receives grapes in the Douro has to fill in a daily form and send it out to the IVDP with info about how many tonnes it received, from where in the Douro they are coming from, who is the owner and truck number. But you can still break the law with some imagination.

  • Gunnar Ljunglof

    Hi Oscar
    If the beneficio take cultural aspects, like age of the vines, varieties and vine training, into consideration, does this mean that the classification according to the beneficio will change over time?
    If you replant with other varieties this would mean another point value for the beneficio, right?
    How often are the beneficio recalculated? Within a fixed time interval or when deemed necessary?

    • Oscar Quevedo

      Hi Gunnar,

      Yes, it changes over time and it is constantly updated. Any time there is an alteration in the vineyard like re-grafting, it must be communicated by the grower to the IVDP. Also, when the vineyard is over 25 years old, it automatically gets 30 more points and it may change rating/letter if in fits in a new range.

  • Oscar Quevedo

    thirstforwine via Twitter
    A great intro to the complex Port ‘beneficio’ system http://bit.ly/ejVrLZ < more on how it affects @quevedo wld be great :)

    Robert, benefcio affect us in the sense that my family has been always focused on Port production, and every year we have several extra tonnes of grapes that we can't use for Port because we have reached the legal limit of Port production, and we have to make still wine with those grapes. This is not a bad thing if you create conditions at the winery to make Douro wine as well. But takes time. That's why we decided to launch these two new brands, Oscar's and Claudia's, so we don't have to sell the still wine of good quality at ridiculous low price. Actually, the idea to launch Oscar's wine is turning out to be a good decision, as it is selling well in countries like UK, US, Denmark, Holland, Norway or HK. And in April we are going to launch white and rose Oscar's as well.

  • http://www.missvickywine.com Miss Vicky Wine

    Almost simple ;) Cheers Oscar !

  • Joe Gates

    hi Oscar, I was wondering if in great vintage Port years you have to make some table wine because of beneficio. Also,if you get more points for the age of the vines,why not points for the age of the vineyard owner,experience should count too!!

    • Oscar Quevedo

      I’m with you Joe! This would be a great incentive for our grandparents to stay in business!!! Retirement age in the Douro would be only at 99!

  • Congratulations scar
    We’ve here a great explatanation of the “benefcio” meaning.
    If you don’t mind I’ll use it on my blog with the reference to the source.

    • Oscar Quevedo

      My pleasure Rui!

  • Julien

    Hi.
    First I have to thank you for this brillant website which is quite understable, even for a french student like me.
    I have a few questions the beneficio system. In fact, if I have understood, l’IVP controls quantity of wine every parcels can produce. But IVP doesn’t decide which price graps can be sold. Am I right?
    Then, for exemple for a parcel A: a wine grower can produce 2043 L for each parcel A ? And then he can decide to sell it to companies in Gaia or sell it to a cooperative or produce his own Port?

    Sorry for my poor english. And thank you to make me understand better this beneficio system which is very complicated for strangers!

    • Anónimo

      Hi Julien, thank you for your nice comments! The IVDP decides every year the quantity of Port Wine that can be produced from A to F grade parcels. So the production per hectare is similar for all A parcels. The grape grower can then decide if wants to make himself Port Wine or if he prefers to sell the grapes to a co-op or other companies, which must be located in the Douro.

      Let me know if you have any other question.

      • Julien

        Hi.
        Thanks a lot for your such an quick answer and for proposing your help!
        I will continue my research and try to make order in the huge number of documents I have in french, english or portuguese…
        Then I ‘ll probably ask you a few question at one time in order waste too much of your time!

        Thank you again.

        • Julien

          Hi.
          I worked these days and I found quite a lot of informations.
          But I have got even more questions than before!
          In order to not take too much of your time I’ll ask only ones which are linked with Beneficio.
          Moreover, it could be a fine source of informations for others readers.

          So,
          A parcel “A” can only produce 2044L/ha. It’s really the weakest I saw. Especially because I saw grape grower have really little territory.
          Is the price of grapes from each parcel category free? can you give me an exemple of how much a liter is selling ?I saw IVDP have parcels too, and that they can sell grapes. Is it their main source of revenu?or does a system of subscription exist?When ICDP makes a decision, that is what is required for the entire sector?Thank you!

          • Oscar

            Hi Julien, yes, grapes from different grade parcels trade at different prices. “A” grade is the most expensive, with prices varying from 2 – 2.20 euros. The IVDP has no vineyards, they just control, certify and determine the volume of Port produced every harvest. All decisions taken by the IVDP apply to all producers.

            I hope I’ve answered all your questions. Let me know if you have more.

            Oscar

          • Julien

            Hi Oscar
            Ok, so the sell of grap have a determined price.
            But I think merchant buy finished wine too. For this wine IVDP doesn’t chose a price like for graps.
            Am I right?

            Last question, 2-2.20 euros, is it for 1 kg of graps?

            Thank you again for your help!