Portugal has been exporting its wines since the days of the Roman Empire and is home to one of the world's oldest protected wine regions, the Douro Valley. Although best known for its fortified Port wines, Portugal produces almost every kind of wine imaginable from crisp and refreshing whites to powerful dry reds which can be cellared for decades.
Key Portuguese Wine Regions
Portugal's most famous wine region that produces the best Portuguese wine is the Douro Valley where the hot, dry climate and steep hillside vineyards produce intensely flavoured black grapes. The fruit grown here is used for both fortified Port wines and full-flavoured dry wines. Northern Portugal has a cooler climate and is known for light and elegant Vinho Verde white wines which often have a slight spritz. Other key Portuguese wine regions include Dao and Bairrada for red wines and Alentejo in the south.
Portuguese Grape Varieties
There are over 250 indigenous Portuguese wine varieties which are used to make a diverse range of wine styles and types. Fortified Port wines are typically made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa, and Tinta Barroca. Vinho Verde white wines are made from the Alvarinho, the Portuguese name for Albarino, and Loureiro grapes. These zesty Portuguese white wines are a great match for the country's fresh seafood, while heartier meat dishes suit the more powerful Portuguese red wines.