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Port wine is considered an ex-libris of Portugal. Natural and fortified fortified wine has its origins in the grape varieties produced in the Douro Region (the oldest Demarcated Region in the world), which is located about 100 km north of the city of Porto. Its manufacturing process is traditional and centuries old, and includes stopping the must fermentation by adding brandy, blending the wine and aging it.
São João da Pesqueira, Régua and Pinhão are the main production centers, but some of the best vineyards are located further east.
The landscape of the Douro wine region is one of the most admirable human works that can be seen in Portugal – the vines were planted on the great slopes that characterize the Douro river landscape, forming an immense staircase of terraces and terraces. The monumentality of the Alto Douro Vinhateiro (ADV) landscape, with around 24,600 hectares, was recognized in 2001 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Basically, three types of Port wines are considered: White, Ruby and Tawny.
It is also important to highlight the wines of special categories (grapes of excellent quality, for having been produced in exceptionally good years in atmospheric terms, and with aging in wooden casks for more than 3 years) it is common to find the Reserva, Late Botted Vintage (LBV), Aged Tawnies and Vintage, and, less regularly, Colheita. It is still necessary to make reference to Crusted.
The “discovery” of Port Wine is not consensual, it is pointed out to the English who added brandy to the wine so that it would not go sour, however, already at the time of the Discoveries, the wine was stored in this way to keep it longer during travels. What is certain is that the English were the first to export this wine, with the company Croft being the pioneer, the English market was then the biggest consumer of Port Wine.
Scots, Dutch and Germans also entered the trade in this fortified wine.
To discover this fabulous landscape and this delicious nectar, there's nothing like a trip for a few days, visiting the cellars and staying at the many farms that "offer" accommodation, visits to vineyards and tastings and participation in activities related to the vineyard, particularly at the time of the harvest .
Without forgetting that you can see the Douro landscape from the waters of the Douro river on one of its cruises or on the traditional Rabelo boats.
The Portuguese entered the Port Wine trade later, highlighting the now-defunct Real Companhia Velha, which was founded by the Marquês de Pombal (1756 – 1853), the Casa Ramos Pinto (still existing in the present) and the Casa Ferreira – owned by D. Antónia Ferreira (1811-1896) (known as Ferreirinha, an enterprising and determined woman in a world controlled by men, highlighting the notable innovations she introduced in the production of port wine, making its production more sophisticated, and also when phylloxera attacked the vines having traveled to England to obtain information about the most modern and effective means of combating this pest) the wines from D. Antónia Ferreira's vineyards still exist, being integrated in the Sogrape Group.
At present there are many Port Wine exporting companies – Individual Houses, Groups and Societies.
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