Gala "Douro European Wine City 2023"
8 February 2023
Last Saturday, February 4, at 9pm, the presentation Gala of the Douro European Wine City 2023 was held in Lamego. An official start of a great challenge of and for the Douro, giving stage to a collective desire to boost the entire region.
The red carpet gives stage and presence to Presidents, Ministers and Douro representatives, received with tradition, and the joy of the Caretos. Among flashes and greetings from a community with a common passion for the Douro, the "Douro European Wine City 20232" Gala began.
Represented by the Theater Group of the Peso da Régua's Senior University, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira and Baron Forrester marked their presence, remembering Ferreirinha's "Portuguese Douro".
Personalities such as Maria do Céu Antunes, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Ana Abrunhosa, Minister of Territorial Cohesion, Isabel Ferreira, Secretary of State for Regional Development, Carlos Miguel, Secretary of State for Local Administration and Territorial Planning, Gilberto Igrejas, president IVDP - Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto, Luís Pedro Martins, President of Turismo Porto e Norte were present at this great event. Even the President of the Republic, Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, wrote a letter, conveying in his words, the appreciation for the Douro and its community.
Carlos Silva Santiago, President of CIM Douro, on stage with the other 18 mayors, received the testimony of the Dionysian Cities between the Ambassador of Moldova and the Deputy Mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Jacques Bolzan.
"This our insignificant intermunicipal community has sworn to this noble heritage, giving primacy and sharing, cultivating the Union and rowing together, and unbreakably, the Rabelo Boat that carries this Heritage, which is of all mankind, our Douro" - words of Carlos Silva Santiago.
Performances by artists such as Miguel Araújo, António Zambujo, and Pedro Abrunhosa intersperse speeches, nostalgic videos, and unique tributes. Among them, Arlete Mendes-Faia and Nuno Magalhães, professors and promoters of the Oenology course at UTAD; Fernando Bianchi de Aguiar, who served as Secretary of State for Regional Development, and President of the Port Wine Institute.
José Manuel Durão Barroso was also honored by the Douro Museum; António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, who made his attitude an example when he stopped the construction of the dam to preserve the marks of men more than 10 thousand years old; Francisco Pinto Balsemão, former Prime Minister of Portugal, who on September 28, 1980, presided over the ceremony to start the works for the navigability of the Douro, where his action was decisive and marked the lives of future generations. And Miguel Cadilhe, Portuguese politician and economist, who in his speech told how much he fell in love with the Douro region, and therefore "would owe his passion, his heart, and if possible, his reason, to Douro!”
The history of the Douro Valley is essentially dominated by time, space, and the gestures of culture itself. A unique and constant breath with which we toast life. In a courtesy to all Douro people, celebrating Douro as European Wine City 2023, a tribute was paid to all those who made the Douro Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the words of Minister Ana Abrunhosa, "the Douro is like that love one never forgets, one always misses: missing the smell, missing the light. The Douro is like that love that makes us lose our breath when we find it again, that always surprises us."
Today the Douro is tradition, but it is also innovation. It is a past with a view to the future, in a union of the inter-municipal community of the Douro, CIM Douro, in the fight for a territory full of culture and wealth. The union of 19 municipal leaders for a love that elevated the Douro to European Wine City.
"The alchemy of authentic smells and tastes, in the heartfelt emotion shared. The Douro is a round table where one more can always fit to toast friendship, to create eternalized memories in the happiness that is built every day; the Douro is the people's soul, a round love for life, a heritage raised around Wine."
And it is in this toast that 19 mayors of the CIM Douro, Ministers, hosts and Douro representatives end the Gala. With the warm hearts of those who witnessed Ana Bacalhau interpreting the eternal verses of Carlos Paião, the “Vinho do Porto, Vinho de Portugal, E vai à nossa” (Port Wine, Wine of Portugal, And go to ours) makes the glasses rise and the palms sweat from those who honor with unrestrained pride the most admirable human work.
A river, a territory, a wine: this is Douro. Today, European Wine City 2023.