Friday, March 20, 2009

The Port Wine and Douro Valley

Hi folks, Oscar Quevedo here. I would like to make a short presentation about the Douro wine region in Portugal and its Port and table Wines.

The Douro valley is located in the northeast of Portugal. It is famous for being the homeland of the Port Wine and it was also the world's first wine region to have a formal demarcation, when in 1756 the royal Portuguese charter decided to protect the production and trade of this valuable product.

Since then, Port Wine production has been growing slowly due to the controlled limit of production to keep high standards of quality. But it has maintained the loyalty of its traditional markets, such as United Kingdom, Holland, Belgium and France and more recently the US. The UK is definitively the most important, not only by the volume acquired, but also by the culture and knowledge British have about Port Wine.

Until some decades ago the dry table wines from Douro were practically unknown, not just abroad but also for the domestic consumers. Portuguese used to prefer wines from Alentejo, Bairrada or Ribatejo. When some producers from Douro came up with really interesting and well made wines, people realized how great wine could be made from the same vines that use to grow grapes for Port. Some small producers left the Port aside and dedicated to the production of dry wine. Very good wines have been made, helping to increase the recognition of the Douro as an interesting region for the production of dry wines.

Thus, while the old and noble Port Wine still delight elders and conquering younger, the Douro table wines are gaining recognition and authority to establish themselves as the bright future of the Douro.

In case you want to know more about the Douro Valley, take a look at Queved0's blog, where we give an inside out view of a Port and Douro Wine producer.

Oscar Quevedo
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