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Portugal is the most underrated wine country, according to exclusive Harpers poll

Published:  13 May, 2015

Last month conducted an exclusive survey to find the most overrated and underrated wine producing regions in world and the results revealed that Portugal was the most underrated, while Bordeaux was voted the most overrated.

The survey was completed by 357 people in the trade including wine merchants, on-trade buyers, sommeliers, wine educators, importers, wholesalers and producers. Sparkling and fortified wines were intentionally left out of the mix. France was broken down into regions as well as individual states from the US were called out separately.

There was a list of 50 different regions that respondents could select from for both the most overrated and underrated categories.

Portugal received the highest percentage of votes with 12.7% people saying the region was the most underrated, followed by Alsace, which received 9.0% votes and Germany received 7.5%.

The quality for value relationship of Portuguese wines has not been lost on UK importers. In March ViniPortugal reported that Portuguese wine exports to the UK rose 10% by volume in 2014 and values were also up 23%. 

Bordeaux was by far the most overrated wine region getting 26.8% of the votes, followed by California with 13.8% of the responses and Burgundy getting 11.3% of the votes.

Burgundy's exports fell 13% by volume last year and Bordeaux wine exports 9.5% by volume according to FEVS figures released earlier this year.  Some of the issue in volumes has been due to lower harvest yields in the more recent vintages, which has affected stock levels.  Equally however, both appellations saw the value of exports also decline. Value of exports decreased 1% in Burgundy, while Bordeaux saw a 17% drop in the value of exports.

Californian wines are a mixed bag it would appear, as earlier this week John McLaren said that Californian wines have not been in a stronger position in the past 20 years.  Equally, Rory Benham from the Wine Treasury has seen sales up 18% for the first part of 2015 and he notes the deal primarily in California wines.

To see who the top 10 most underrated and top 10 most overrated rated wine regions were check out the full survey results, in the May 2015 magazine.