Douro Demarcated Region chosen as "Soil of the Year" 2024
14 December 2023
For the first time in Portugal, the Portuguese Society of Soil Science (SPCS) has promoted the "Soil of the Year" initiative, which aims to publicize the diversity and importance of Portuguese soils, as well as promoting knowledge of them.
December 5 is World Soil Day, designated since 2014 by the United Nations as a way of publicizing the importance of healthy soil and defending its sustainable management. On this day, the SPCS announces the expert committee's choice for Soil of the Year 2024: the Soils of the Douro Demarcated Region.
Currently, Douro Demarcated Region covers around 250,000 hectares along the Douro River valley, of which around 24,000 have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014, a distinction that will be celebrated on December 14. The soils of Douro Demarcated Region support the landscape of the Douro Valley and an economic activity that has shaped human life far beyond this territory.
The SPCS said in a statement that the soils of Douro "sustain the landscape of the Douro Valley and an economic activity that has shaped the life of man far beyond this territory".
"Also noteworthy are the anthrosols, soils profoundly transformed by man which, due to their extent and intrinsic link to vine growing, are of particular interest with regard to the evolution of techniques for preparing and laying out the land," it added.
The SPCS also informs that, throughout 2024, it will promote the dissemination and knowledge of the soils of Douro Demarcated Region and explained that the "Soil of the Year" initiative aims to "disseminate the diversity and importance of Portuguese soils, as well as foster their knowledge".
"These soils are the basis of viticultural production and wine quality and their sustainable management is a permanent challenge for Douro viticulture," said the organization.
The SPCS, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023, is an association made up of individuals and organizations interested in the study, use and protection of soil. The Society's mission is to promote the collaboration of all those who study, use and defend soil heritage and to spread knowledge of soil science in Portugal.