More than 30 retailers and on-trade businesses tapped into the fund, which was set up to help traders broaden their horizons with Portuguese wines.
"We made the bursary scheme as simple to orchestrate as possible," said Vasco d'Avillez, head of ViniPortugal. "We know
generic funding is something that is rarely available to smaller merchants and restaurants and we wanted to give them opportunities to open bottles of Portuguese wines, to inform their customers and to build enthusiasm for Portugal."
Adnams reported a 40 per cent sales increase for Portuguese wines after listing 10 new wines and promoting them with a lively POS programme.
"We have been importing the wines from Quinta do Crasto for many years," said buyer Alastair Marshall, "but this bursary gave us the opportunity to look further afield
and resulted in a heightened interest in Portuguese wines from our customers."
Harrogate Fine Wines held a tutored tasting and dinner at Hotel du Vin with Charles Metcalfe for 50 customers. Duncan Murray, of Duncan Murray Wines in Market Harborough, Leics, saw a huge increase in Portuguese sales through
in-store tastings and shop-front displays.
ViniPortugal is keen to progress this initiative next year and will be working with the Association of Portuguese Wine Importers in the UK on their plans for 2008.