to promote its lower -alcohol "green" wines in Europe - including E150,000 to spend in the UK over the next three years.
The programme will include a seminar, guided wine tasting, producers' tasting and wine buffet in both London and Birmingham in 2009, and press trips to the region for UK journalists and importers .
"The main objectives are to inform professionals and consumers about the variety and quality of Vinho Verde, as well as European wines in general, and to increase
competitiveness and exports ," said Carla Cunha, marketing director for the Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes.
The EU grant will also see Vinho Verde, which lies north of the Douro river near the border with Spain, promoted in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium.
Vela: naturally light
Oakley Wine Agencies is launching a "light" wine from Portugal - from an appellation in which wines may not be over 10.5 per cent abv and have the right to call themselves "light" on the label. Vela, which means "sail", has 10.5 per cent abv and comes from Estremadura on Portugal's Atlantic coast. It is made from Arinto and other indigenous grapes, and the agency's Nick Oakley said it was a natural alternative to wines which have removed alcohol through reverse osmosis.