A Brief History of Portuguese Wines
Portugal has a long wine history, we could say that since the time of the Phoenicians. What is interesting is that the winemaking tradition has constantly kept a special place in the Portuguese culture regardless of the era in which they were or the historical context.
For wine lovers, Portugal is currently the country with perhaps the largest variety of wines. This is due to the location and the specific climate that allows it to produce Atlantic, mountain, plain and island wines. We add to these conditions the 250 indigenous grapes, that are only found in Portugal, bringing together unique grapes with the know-how of a winemaking country.
Classification of Portuguese Wines
There are three categories of wines regulated in Portugal and which can be easily identified with the indications on the wine labels.
The PDO is short for Denominação de Origem Contrada, which regulates strictly defined regions and imposes standards that must be met by all wineries wishing to certify wine under the Denomination of Controlled Origin. The standards refer to varieties of cultivated varieties or yields allowed in each region. The development process is also strictly controlled.
- Vinho Regional
Wines produced in these regions are not subject to the same strict rules as those mentioned above. Therefore, the wineries in this regulatory system can grow new varieties or experiment with new blends. It is the quality standard where the creative part of the Portuguese wine industry takes place.
It is an extensive category of wines that are produced without rules and are most often consumed by the Portuguese people, as are considered easy-drinking wines ideal for every occasion.
The Most Popular Wine Regions in Portugal
Douro is one of the deep-rooted Portuguese regions in the wine industry. It is known in the wine world not only for its longevity but especially for its top-quality wines. The Douro River Valley has been planted with vines since 2000 years ago, and today the entire region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Among the varieties grown here we find Touriga National, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barocca, Tempranillo called Tinta Roriz by the Portuguese.
If Rioja or Ribera del Duero wines are familiar to you and are among your favorites, then Douro wines will surely delight you.
This region is described by Wine Folly as very similar to Californian wine regions. Temperatures, climate, soil, seem to be the ingredients of Portuguese wines with Californian vibes.
Among the most common varieties in the region are Touriga Nacional, Aragonese or Tempranillo, Syrah, Trincadeira, Arinto, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon. Alentejo wines have been trending in the wine world in recent years, especially for blends that refine the aromas of new and indigenous varieties and for its great price-quality ratio.
Here are produced the so-called green wines that are characterized by acidity and slightly sparkling hues. They are called green because they are still considered unripe, meaning they have not gone through the full ripening process. This region is characterized by wineries with small vineyards, located on the Green Coast of Portugal.
Wines from this region are most often destined for France, Germany and the United States, where they are growing in popularity.
Among the most common varieties in this region we mention Arinto, Trajadura, Alvarinho, Borraçal.
Of course, we can´t conclude this article without making a special mention to the Porto Wines. The process of making these wines begins with the planting of vines. Grape varieties need red soil rich in shale to get potency. Then the vinification follows a unique method, different from the classic vinification. Most Porto wines have their origins in the Douro region I mentioned earlier, but because they have been exported through the city of Porto to the sea since the past, the wine has been called Porto, which means through the Port.
On our trip through Portugal, we stopped in the main winemaking regions, where we discovered excellent wines that are worth trying. Wines that capture the essence and uniqueness of Portugal. Our selection consists of wines from different regions to offer you quality wines but with unique aromas and notes typical of the area. We invite you to discover our selection of Portuguese wines, we hope you like them as much as we do!
If you have favorite Portuguese wines that you want to share with us, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
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See you next time, wine lovers,