All producers in the region seeking to use the Protected Designation of Origin (Alentejo PDO) or the Geographical Indication (Alentejano PGI) must obtain certification of their products by the CVRA. This can be done for the following categories of products: white wine, red wine or rosé wine; fortified wine (liqueur), sparkling wines (white, red or rosé), pomace spirit (aguardente bagaceira) and grape spirit (aguardente vínica).
The process of certification followed by the CVRA abides by the rules of the Guide I.S.O IEC_Guide 67_2004, which stipulates the following steps to be taken for certified wines of the region:
1) Vineyard register
This includes the geographical reference of the vineyard plot, the number of vines and the grape varieties grown within this specific plot. This information is verified in loco and a computer register is created.
2) Physicochemical and sensory analysis
As soon as the wine has been produced and the blends made up, a sample of each wine or blend is subject to a physicochemical and sensory analysis. This is a series of physical and chemical analyses covering six essential parameters, confirming the important characteristics of the wine: Actual Alcoholic Strength by Volume, Total Alcoholic Strength by Volume, Total Sulphur Dioxide, Total Sugars (glucose + fructose), Total Acidity (expressed as tartaric acid), and Volatile Acidity (expressed as acetic acid).
These tests are carried out by the CVRA´s own laboratory - Laboratório de Análises Fisico-Quimicas da CVR Alentejana. The laboratory is accredited according to the NP EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards of IPAC and approved by ILAC - MRA (International Laboratory Acreditation Cooperation).
In parallel to this process, a sensory analysis
is carried out on the same wine sample by the CVRA´s tasting panel - Painel da Câmara de Provadores da CVR Alentejana. This tasting panel is also accredited according to the NP EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards of IPAC.
Only when the wine has undergone both of the above processes (physicochemical analysis and approval by the tasting panel), will the CVRA consider whether the wine fulfils the requirements to carry either the Alentejo PDO or the Alentejano PGI seal of approval.
In order to guarantee that the consumer is given comprehensive product information, and that national and EU legislation is complied with, the CVRA is also responsible for the approval of the information to be included on the product label.
The vineyard register, the physicochemical and sensory analysis and the approval of the wine labelling are the mandatory steps towards ensuring the traceability of the wine until its release.
Certified wines are required to comply with all the processes referred to above, and to abide by the rules and regulations defined and monitored by the CVRA. This in turn results in each certified bottle receiving an individually numbered seal of guarantee that is placed on the back label. This seal warrants the quality and origin of the wine to consumers, both in Portugal and abroad.
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