"Wine are like men, as long as time goes by, bad sour, and good improve..." Cícero
Wine is widely celebrated all over Portugal with a wealth of excellent quality wines being produced in this beautiful country. And there are plenty of places where you can buy bottles of wine while you are on holiday. Do not forget to take some home as souvenirs too!
Portugal has two wine producing regions classified as UNESCO sites. The first is the important wine region of Douro which has the country’s highest wine classification, Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and is the oldest established wine producing region in the world, dating back to 1756. This area is primarily associated with Port wine production and also produces large amounts of non-fortified wines, often referred to as ‘Douro wines’.
The second region is the Pico Island wine region (Paisagem e Vinhas da Ilha do Pico) in the Azores, where a unique way of growing grapes has evolved since the 15th century. The extraordinary viniculture here demonstrates how farmers have ingeniously developed grape cultivation on a volcanic island. Flat land on the coast has been transformed into a network of fields with man-made walls of rock to protect the vines from harsh Atlantic sea winds and salt.
A vast amount of grapes are grown in Portugal and so there is a fantastic variety on offer with different tastes and textures. In some places, the wine is still made traditionally. First, people pick the grapes, pour them into a big tank and tread them with their feet. The next step is the alcoholic fermentation, which gives each wine its individual taste.
Portugal Live has put together a more detailed guide to the main wine regions in Portugal and the fantastic wines you can expect to sample on holiday. Click on wines on the right for further information.