While 2O18 was a good year for many of Europe’s wine producing countries, Portugal’s harvest will be the lowest of the past two decades, according to estimates by the country’s National Statistics Institute, placing production at 5.2 million hectolitres – a drop of around 22% on the previous year of 6.7 million. Reduction in yields was blamed on a heatwave in August and heavy rains that interrupted harvesting in October, as well as flash floods and storms in the Douro. Almost all Portuguese regions were affected, however the southern region of Alentejo was able to maintain 2O17 output levels. It contrasts the rise in harvest volumes across Europe, which saw numbers return to more normal levels following a difficult 2O17 as frosts, heatwaves and drought resulted in one of the smallest harvests in decades. The International Organization of Vine and Wine said that global output rose over 13% to a preliminary 279 million hectolitres – one of the largest volumes of the century. Portugal’s was the largest drop in production of any major wine producing region, followed by Greece, which saw volumes drop by 15%, South Africa (12%), and Australia (9%). All other key regions saw an increase to their volumes compared with 2O17.