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€100m World of Wine wine tourism centre boost for Portuguese Wine

Published:  16 June, 2017

Port producer The Fladgate Partnership has launched the official plans for ‘World of Wine’ (WoW), a major new €100 million (£87.4m) wine tourism centre which will be built in the heart of Portugal’s historic Vila Nova de Gaia town on the south side of the The Douro river.

Speaking to Harpers, Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership said WoW port lodges once used to store port would be converted into five culture areas of 30,000 square metres in size featuring Portuguese wine, cork, a History of the city of Porto, a fashion and design area and a drinking vessels museum together with 12 new restaurants and a wine bar. Bridge said he had also started talks with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) over the establishment of a wine school on the WoW site.

“WoW will showcase Portuguese wines by reusing port lodges and it will be in my view a profitable tourist centre; this nucleus of activities should attract visitors and encourage the drinking of Portuguese table wines and port as well as becoming a catalyst for further development,” Bridge said.

“About half of the port lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia no longer store port; port producers now have storing facilities closer to the vineyards of the Douro and we have a bottling facility in the outskirts of the town,” he said.

He said The Fladgate Partnership had teamed up with Living PlanIT to provide technological infrastructure for WoW and with cork producer Amorim for the cork area of the wine tourism centre.

Bridge, who launched the official plans for WoW on June 8th, said said The Fladgate Partnership has secured long-term loans to fund the wine tourism centre through the European Union’s urban regeneration programme.

The Fladgate Partnership owns port brands Taylor’s, Fonseca, Croft and Krohn. Its development of  WoW follows two years of substantial company investments in luxury hotels in the region including the The Yeatman Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia, the Hotel Infante Sagres in Porto and the Vintage House Hotel in the Douro.

Works on WoW are scheduled to start in November after the tourist summer season and it is expected to open in 2020.