Small country with a great variety of wines: Portuguese wine
For a long time Portugal was unknown in many parts of the world as a wine-growing region with good wines. But Portuguese wines have received more and more attention in recent years – and rightly so. Today all wine lovers have tried Portuguese port wines or heard of the rustic wines from the Mediterranean region. Some wine-growing regions have succeeded in raising their traditional advantages to a new, good level through improved quality awareness and new technologies. Today the wines from Portugal often convince with surprising freshness and elegance! Let yourself be inspired by the wines of Portugal. In this post you will find everything you should know about wine from Portugal!
Viticulture by tradition
Believe it or not at first glance, viticulture also has a long tradition in Portugal. Many years ago, the Romans were already growing wine in the Portuguese region of Douro. In the Tejo and in the south of the country too, viticulture was already practiced and valued by people in pre-Christian times. After the colonization of Portugal by the Moors, who wanted little to do with alcohol, Portugal lost the tradition of viticulture. However, these could be resumed in later years after the Christian reconquest. When Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, people around the world again noticed the wonderful diversity of grape varieties: Portuguese grapes have held recognized positions for around 20 years, which is reflected in the highest quality and important international awards.
Wine country Portugal
With its 230,000 hectares of vineyards, Portugal has devoted around 4% to viticulture, a higher proportion than in any other country in the world. Wine production can also be found high up in the world rankings. This is five to six million hectoliters per year and is rising steadily. In the last few years it has even increased by around ten percent!
The quality standards in Portugal are like worldwide DOC and DOP, plus there are wines with the designation VR. This stands for Vinho Regional and often refers to wines from winemakers who do not want to conform to the guidelines of the DOP regulations and want to try out their own style with their diverse knowledge. VR wines are often compared with the common IGP requirements, but are often very unusual and worth trying.
Good wines in Portugal and their growing areas
Above all, Portugal’s high wine production requires many good growing areas. The wine is very diverse and is grown in principle in every region of the country. Depending on the region, the climate is influenced by the Atlantic, the Mediterranean or more continental. The soils also differ depending on the growing region. In the north the soils consist mainly of slate and granite, on the coast of lime, clay and sand. The soils in the south are often a mixed bag of everything. We would like to introduce you to a few more wine-growing regions in Portugal.
- Minho: The province is located in northwest Portugal and is best known for the production of the popular Vinho Verde. The region benefits from the Atlantic climate and can therefore shine with good white, red and rosé wines
- Douro: The traditional wine-growing region of Portugal is one of the most internationally known regions. In addition to traditional, old, typical wines, the well-known port wine comes here. In addition, we produce a large selection of Portuguese table wines in the wine-growing region, which is a World Heritage Site.
- Dão: The region is surrounded by mountain ranges in the middle of the country. This location ensures a special climate, which is warm in summer and cold in winter. On the granite sandy soil at an altitude of 400 to 500 meters above all typical Portuguese types of wine can be found.
- Alentejo: With a third of the cultivation area, the Alentejo is the largest wine-growing region in Portugal. Hot summers with little rain make for a landscape with olive trees, sunflowers and cork oaks. The region is divided into eight small areas. Above all, many wines are produced here according to the specifications of the DOC.
The grape varieties of Portuguese wine
There are over 250 autochthonous grape varieties in Portugal that are unique to this country. This diversity is an enormous strength of Portuguese viticulture. The many old, indigenous varieties ensure a great wealth of grapes and possible combinations. Nevertheless, in addition to the many different Portuguese varieties, the winemakers also rely on French grape varieties, which make it easier to meet international wine tastes.
The most important grape varieties for red wines are Touriga Nacional, Tempranillo, Alicante Bouschet, Castelão and Trincadeira. The main domestic white wine grape varieties are Arinto, Fernão Pires, Alvarinho and Verdelho.
Try the wines of Portugal!
The wine from Portugal is worth trying! The wines are special due to the craftsmanship that is linked to the origins of viticulture and the use of modern cutting-edge technologies nowadays. Let Sud I convince you of the variety of Portuguese wines and get to know other good wines from young, motivated winemakers from Portugal in addition to port wines. Below you will find a selection of wines that you can order directly from us!