Portuguese wines have been in the mouth of several editors, journalists, and such. These wines distinguish themselves due to the existence of over 285 indigenous grape varieties, the different blends possible and the unique kind of production.
Check for yourself why portuguese wines stand amongst the best.
The Portuguese Wine Production
Portuguese culture and the production of wine are well connected, with Portugal being one of the largest wine producers of the world, despite the country’s size.
Quintas, translated to wine estates, are well rooted in Portugal and often produced wines in the past. Most of them are still inhabited by local people and some were transformed into wine companies for distribution.
Depending on where the wine was produced, the bottles are labeled with a DOC seal, which means Controlled Origin Designation. The DOC seal provides info about the region’s boundaries, the laws they must follow and it’s a good indicator of the wine’s quality.
One distinctive process several wine estates through Portugal apply is oak aging. In this process, the wine stays in an oak wood barrel through several years.
The Madeira wine is made in a peculiar way. The wine goes through a heating process either by staying on a barrel in hot attics or through heated pipes.
Prestigious Wine Regions
It is known that Portuguese companies have been creating great wines with different value according to where they come from.
Douro Valley is one of the most known regions of the world when it comes to wine production. It was one of the most awarded regions at the International Wine Challenge of 2016. Its mountainous terrain protects the vineyards from the wind that blows throughout the Douro river.
Between the northern mountains you can find the Dão region’s vineyards, that offers some greatly flavoured red wines.
To the South you can find Alentejo, where the summer has cool breezes and the winter is mild, which provides this region with fresh and tasteful grapes that retain their acidity. Below Alentejo you find the Algarve, where a wide variety of white and red wines are produced and served in some of the best Portuguese restaurants.
The Algarve is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the same that coasts the Lisbon wine region and offers winds that may be harsh to some grapes, even though most of them “survive” to make some tasteful wines.
Recently Distinguished Wines
While you may only know The Port and the Vinho Verde wines (which is perfectly fine), portuguese companies have been producing some of the best wines in the world along these.
Recently, Quinta do Portal Reserve Red (2011) was distinguished as the best wine of the year by the Wines of Portugal Awards in 2016.
Internationally, the editors of Wine Spectators chose 4 portuguese wines to feature on the top 100 best wines.
In the 46th position, you can find Quinta de Cabriz (2014) from the Dão region, the most affordable wine of the list with a price of 3,40 €. On the other hand, the most expensive of the Portuguese wines selected, with a price tag of about 70 €, is the Lemos & van Zeller Quinta Vale D. Maria of 2013 that reached the 80th position.
In the 50th position is the Evel 2014 red from Real Companhia Velha, a company with more than 260 years. Carm Reserva red of 2012 is presented in the 69th position.
Several wine lovers believe Portuguese wines have unique and enjoyable flavors, as well as sweet aromas. They also claim the longevity of said wines is remarkable with some of them conserving the flavour after long periods after being open.
They recognize that Portuguese people and companies are able to make some of the best wines that exist due to the climate, the attention to detail and love for the industry. They make several efforts in order to evolve their wines and create new ones, and those efforts are recognized by award giving entities and the number of distinctions these wines gain.
Wine Tourism is rapidly becoming one major factor in attracting Tourism to this country, alongside with its refined cuisine and fair weather.