VINCYCLOPEDIA

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PORT or Porto is a fortified dessert wine from the Douro Valley of Portugal. The name has also been used generically for wines produced in a similar style other countries, notably The United States and Australia, although this is a declining commerical practice that is also under legislative review internationally.

Although Port is produced in several styles and colors, most Port is generally quite aromatic, sweet, and smooth-tasting to most palates, and always with noticeably more alcohol than typical table wines.

Port is very popular with the British and has been since the first half of the 18th Century, when England and France were enemies in the War of Spanish Succession and the War of Austrian Succession.

The officially demarcated Douro Region covers more than 600,000 acres, with about 95,000 planted to vineyard, and sub-divided into three regions of generally ascending quality production following the ascending elevation from West to East, the Baixa Corgo, Cima Corgo, and Douro Superior. The rugged terrain of steep, sloping hills is terraced wherever vines are planted. The climate is quite extreme with very cold winters and very hot summers.

The primary grape varieties used are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, and Tinta Cao.


 

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