Portugal

About Portuguese Wine

Portugal is an unsung hero in the wine world. It is very well known for being the king of sweet fortified wine – Port, which can only come from the Douro in Portugal. There is more to Portugal than Port though, and the country is now gaining a great reputation for deeply concentrated and complex wines in both red and white.

Key Grape Varieties and Regions
  • Vinho Verde: Arinto, Azal
  • Douro: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Touriga Roiz
  • Dão: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roiz, Alfrocheiro Preto and Verdelho
  • Barrida: Touriga Nacional
  • Lisboa: Aragones, Merlot, Fernao Pires and Riesling
  • Alentejo: Syrah

History

There is world of seriously undervalued wine waiting to be discovered in this hot pocket of southern Europe.

Port wine was the focus of production for Portugal for hundreds of years, the dominant styles being Vintage and Tawny. Port consumption has seen a steady decline so producers within the Douro are now putting more effort into their wines. Utilising the same grapes that go into Port, there are some stunning examples being released that represent great value for money when compared to similar styles from other countries.

In the vineyard

Wine growing regions in Portugal have invested heavily to improve the quality of winemaking and vineyard practices over the years. The Portuguese often use the method of ‘treading the grapes’. 

Unfortunately, employing people to do this is not only expensive but has also been discovered to be dangerous with a high amount of CO2 being released into the air – consequently becoming a danger to health and in some cases life! The Portuguese have overcome this by using Lagares, which are robotic feet-like machines which mimic the human grape treading very effectively!

Hennings Wine says

We could talk to you until we are blue in the face about our range of Ports, from the best vintages to lay down, or drink to the differences between Tawny, Ruby, Colhietas and White Ports. There is also a breadth of table wine to discover so get stuck in to the Quinta de Sant’Ana range for a taste of white, rosè and a variety of styles in red.

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