Assobio for the Tua

Assobio for the Tua

Esporão launches a special edition of Assobio D.O.C. Douro Red 2011 for the “Save the Tua, Protect the Douro” campaign.

Quinta dos Murças, which has been owned by Esporão since 2008, is an active supporter of the “Save the Tua, Protect the Douro” campaign, which aims to raise domestic and international awareness regarding the construction of the Foz Tua hydroelectric dam. This project will result in the destruction of the Tua Valley and its historic railway line, which are part of the Alto Douro winegrowing region, an area classified as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2011.

Apart from the lack of economic rationale to justify such a construction – the dam will produce just 0.1% of the country’s energy needs at around double the price currently paid per kWh, thus increasing the already huge tariff deficit -, the negative and irreversible effects of the dam are obvious, particularly in terms of the visual impact of an enormous concrete wall at the mouth of the Tua River, the flooding of one of the richest river eco-systems in Portugal and the resulting climactic changes detrimental to Douro wine and port production.

The negative aspects of the dam’s environmental, economic and social impact in the region make efforts to safeguard what is an important part of our heritage and cultural identity imperative. This heritage is an essential focus of regional development, especially when we considered winegrowing and tourism as strategic areas of its future well-being.

As part of the company’s contribution to the “Salvar o Tua” (Save the Tua) platform, Esporão has launched a special 1,000-bottle edition of its prize-winning red, Assobio 2011, which is produced at Quinta dos Murças.

The Assobio 2011 special edition boasts a photograph of the Tua River, donated by photographer Duarte Belo, and directs consumers to the platform site, encouraging every citizen to get behind the cause by spreading word of the campaign, participating in the platform’s initiatives and projects, and sending an e-mail to UNESCO putting pressure on the organization to put a halt to the dam. The e-mail can be sent via the platform’s site,

Priced at €10 a bottle, the proceeds from this “Save the Tua, Protect the Douro” edition revert entirely to the campaign, with the wine being sold to the general public at various campaign events and projects. Another of the company’s initiatives is placing a seal on the back label of the entire Assobio wine range promoting the current campaign.

According to João Roquette, CEO of Esporão and Quinta dos Murças, as well as a key member of the platform and associated campaign, “The region’s winegrowing focus and history, in addition to its tourist potential, are incompatible with this project. The Tua dam benefits the shareholders of the concession and building companies to the detriment of society. Companies should serve society, not the other way around”.

The “Salvar o TUA” platform brings together environmental associations, wine producers and a range of public figures and Portuguese institutions that believe it possible to halt construction of the dam, using the example of the movement in the United States of America, where old dams are being destroyed because they have become obsolete.