Everything You Need To Know About Port Wine

If you expect to see any Port wineries and wineries within Porto, you’re in for a big mistake. The grapes that make Port wine aren’t produced here, and the wine isn’t in the region. However, the wine is sourced from the area.

Do you need clarification?

Let’s find out the mysterious history of the world’s oldest (or close to it, or almost oldest, the Hungarian Tokaj is claiming the same title) appellation, and then find out where you can be surrounded by this wine with a fortified flavor within the town of Oporto.

History of Port Wine Appellation

As a wine-producing country, Portugal gained fame due to its port, Oporto.

The British could not purchase French wine during the Hundred Years’ War. They looked further south but still across the Atlantic and opted for Porto (or, as they referred to it, Oporto, or as they called it, Oporto) as their preferred source of wine.

Then, all of a sudden, farmers were businessmen, making wines and selling them. This happened in the 14th and 15th centuries. The yields were increased to their limit, but quality was fine as the demand was sufficient.

In the 18th century, wine production had declined enough that it was imperative to establish a control agency over the winemakers.

Portugal’s beloved Marquise of Pombal is the person who established in 1757 the foundation in one of the most storied appellations worldwide. He limited the port wine production to a specific area and created a classification system among producers based on the quality.

The only region of the world is the Douro.

Initially, the vines were planted there before Roman times, about 1100 BC in the time of the Phoenicians. However, the Romans were the first to construct amazing stone terraces on hills above the Douro River. Douro river.

The climate due to the mountains and the strong river was mild, characterized by mild winters and cool summers.

What is the reason a wine that comes from Douro was named in honor of Porto?

The Upper Douro Valley is great for cultivating vines. However, it is not ideal to export them in huge quantities. Barrels of wine were shipped across the river to Oporto City, and Oporto was a port connected to the Atlantic.

When they arrive at English ports, it is marked by their destination. When they are received in Portuguese ports, marked as per their departure point O Porto, this is how the Wine of Port came to be known as the Port wine.

Port wine barrels on board at Douro River

Port Wine Production in Simple Terms

What is it that makes port wine taste different from everyday wines? Are you sure it’s even a wine?

Since the trip between Porto and the North took some time, wine merchants required a method to preserve it.

Initially, the wine was enhanced with brandy before the “journey.” Fortified means strengthened (by brandsy).

The current process is different since the wine is enhanced before aging, just after the fermentation.

We’ll look at the following:

  • One of the most notable port wines that are a specialty for consumers is its high sugar level (around 130 grams per Liter) and high percentage of alcohol (19-20 20 % abv).
  • Today, the wine is enriched to stop the fermentation re, move substantial amounts of remaining sugar, and increase the amount of alcohol.

To comprehend the process of making this well-known Portuguese wine, we must first define the process of fermentation for every other dry wine

  • The sugar in the grape juice is eaten through yeasts (also present within the grape’s berry).
  • The result is dry wine since yeasts typically will only stop once there’s no sugar left for consumption.

For port wine, the process is interrupted halfway through:

  • The yeasts are killed when you add brandy (or the eau de vie, which contains 77 percent alcohol).
  • This permits the Portuguese to keep lots of sugar and increase the amount of alcohol by 20 percent.

Be Selective When Buying a Bottle of Port Wine

To take in the wine after all these sophisticated tortures and to smell the aroma and not just the wine:

  • It has to be made of premium quality grapes or eau de vie.
  • It must be aged and matured in oak barrels to blend all the scents and flavors;
  • It must be served at a suitable temperature of 8 degrees Celsius to serve white wine, between 11 and 14 deg for tawny. The younger the cooler and 15deg C for ruby.

Fast Facts to Taste Port Wine as a Connoisseur

For those who wish to appear like port wine connoisseurs:

  • The port can be White, Ruby, and Tawny.
  • The ABV (alcohol in volume) typically is around 20%, irrespective of the color (white port appears similar to a Sauvignon Blanc; however, beware that it’s still a whopping 20% ABV, regardless of the color).
  • White Port goes well with lots of lime, ice cubes, and orange slices for an aperitif or as a part of the context of a cocktail. For instance, when you purchase a gin-tonic in Portugal, they’ll typically use white port instead of Gin.
  • Ruby Port prefers chocolate as a partner, as well as soft cheese. I was sampling Late Bottled Vintage 2013 from Sandeman in Vila Nova de Gaia.
  • Tawny Tawny HTML0 – In the case of Sandeman Tawny, ten years is best enjoyed with cottage cheese, caramel sweets, and pastries made with cottage cheese. Our sommelier strongly suggests pairing it with apple pie.

Port Wine Tasting at Sandeman

Where can you taste Port wine at Porto?

There is a third issue here.

This is Vila Nova de Gaia, where the port cellars for wine are located, and the barrels of wine were taken off towards the north, toward the English customers.

The ‘hub’ is a one-river taxi or bridge away from Porto.

I compiled a list of the best wine cellars for port within Vila Nova for my excursion, and am happy to let you know about them:

Caves Calem

The winery is unique because it was discovered by a Portuguese man (English controls many ports’ wine cellars) and because he was crazy (as, at the time, people believed) and focused on Brazil as his primary client rather than England.

When he established Porto Calem in 1859, he began to sail for Brazil. The explorer was proper. His first purchases were in exotic forests.

In the Caves Calem in Vila Nova, you can go for a wine tasting, with food pairings, or even an experience of wine tasting and a Fado performance (and blend two of the unique features of Oporto). Oporto).

Caves Ferreira

What about women who drink port wine?

The person who founded the appellation, Dona Antonia Ferreira, is one of the most famous people in the name.

Ferreira cellars are renowned in the Vintage Port collections (the only kind of port wine that can be aged in bottles); Dona Antonia left an extensive collection of bottles that dates to 1815.

I suggest tasting at least three wines throughout your visit to the cellars: white Ports, ruby, and tawny. It is even better if you choose a tasting experience that comes with the Vintage Port experience, as this is what made Dona Ferreira famous for her Vintage Port.

Caves Sandeman

George Sandeman was a wine merchant who decided to establish his own sherry and port wine business.

Sandeman is famous for its “Don” – one of the original logos and brand designs. A mysterious image of a man wearing a hat transports you to Portugal of the 17th century as you walk into the cellar.

You can select from Old Tawnies (10, 20, 30, and 40 y.o.) and port wine tastings with white-ruby-tawny at Sandeman’s.

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