Portugal needs to shout about its wines more and grow a solid identity through links to its produce, according to UK wine buyers.
But producers from the Alentejo, Tejo and Península de Setúbal regions admit to being circumspect and "shy" when it comes to pushing its wines.
UK buyers Peter Ingram (Vagabond Wines), Jessica Lomas (Peckham's) and Bob McDonald (Corks Out), attended a Harpers buyers' trip around the region last week and agreed the country offered great quality wines at affordable prices, but the message was tough to get through.
McDonald said: "There's much more to Portugal than Port, but the British rarely buy Portuguese non-fortified wines unless it's hand sold. British consumers tend to buy on grape variety, and while they may be starting to pick up on likes of Vinho Verdhe as a category, they're not sure whether Vinho Verde is actually a grape variety or a region."
Portugal is being taken more seriously than a decade ago according to Ingram. "But there are so many different and unpronounceable grape varieties and styles, it's difficult for consumers to become familiar with them." However, Ingram said Portugal should not start relying on international grape varieties to get its message across, as he thinks its strength lies in its own indigenous varieties.
Lomas said she would like to see Portugese wines linked with its produce. "There is untapped and indigenous produce in Portugal. It could be imported and marketed along with its wines to help boost the country's identity as a whole."