Portugese grape crops destroyed
Get ready to pay higher prices for authentic port wine from Portugal.
Severe storms this week destroyed more than 4,200 acres of grapes in northern Portugal, according to the country's Agriculture Ministry. That leaves about 11,500 acres of grape production. Hail also fell in June last year, causing damage to hundreds of acres.
Heavy rain hit the country from Tuesday, causing floods and damage from north to the south of the country and injuring 16 in the northern town of Famalicao.
Agriculture Minister Jaime Silva said hailstones "the size of quail eggs" fell on crops on Wednesday in Alijo, Sao Joao da Pesqueira, Tabuaco and Sabrosa, four of the most important port-producing regions.
Several local officials, however, have said that up to 80 percent of the port wine crops in their districts was lost in the storms.
Portugal sold 24.7 million gallons of port wine last year, according to the Port and Douro Wines Institute (PDWI).
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 1:17 PM