The Douro River Valley
Winding its way from Porto toward Spain, the Douro River Valley is Portugal’s most visually stunning wine region. In this place, historic terraced vineyards carpet the steep hills all of the way down to the river. Fun fact, t is also the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, established by decree in 1756.
The valley is famous for dry, complex table wines, as well as Port (vinho do Porto), which may very well be the most well-known dessert wine in the world. Dry wines tend to be made from field blends. In this region, mixed vineyards, often with several varieties planted side-by-side, play a huge role in the finished wines. Among the hundreds of grape varieties, five red grapes are stand-outs for Port production; Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional. Also important are the white grape varieties Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato and Viosinho, as well as the red varietals Sousão and Tinta Amarela (also known as Trincadeira).
Stayed tuned for future posts about the abundance of grape varietals found in Portugal. The next region we'll discuss is Lisboa, also known as the Lisbon region.