Get to know Portuguese wine regions - the Douro region

Portugal may be a small state, but Wine With a View’s home country is huge in wine varieties and regions, all of them producing very distinctive wines. If you have ever had the chance to enjoy a glass of Wine With a View, you have most certainly seen our menu, or our truck’s map, showcasing the regions from where our wines come from. Curious to learn more about them?
Today, since it is still cold outside and a nice and strong fortified wine is definitely a good choice, we want you to get to know a bit more of the Douro region, the origin of one of Portuguese most famous wine: The Port wine.
What it distinguishes from common wines, are its characteristics: its rich, intense and persistent aromas with a high alcohol content (between 19% and 22% vol.). There are many different types, which vary in sweetness and colours.
At Wine With a View, we have red (ruby and LBV) and white Port Wines (White and Siroco). The Ruby got its name from the precious stone called ruby, whose color this wine resembles. It is fresh, vigorous and youthful, full of intense cherry and blackcurrant aromas. Full bodied on the palate, with solid but well integrated tannins, and a long rich fruity finish, that ages in wooden barrels with little or no oxidation. This style is quite sweet and one can almost taste the hot sun of the Douro Valley.

 It is an excellent desert wine, particularly with ripe, blue cheeses. It should be served at room temperature.

The LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) is a very high quality Port with a great ageing potential, which takes place in large vats, oak barrels or stainless steel tanks, for the oxidative evolution to be very slow. It is bottled between July of the fourth year and December of the sixth year after harvest.

It has dense, dark chocolate and black fruit aromas with a touch of liquorice and a big, structured and textural palate. Wonderful mouthfeel and long finish.

This Port wine is the perfect finish to any meal. It benefits from being decanted and should be served in a generously proportioned wine glass so that its rich fruity nose can be enjoyed to the full. Excellent with fully flavoured cheeses, especially blue cheeses such as Stilton or Roquefort. It is also delicious with desserts made with chocolate or berry fruits.

The White Ports come in different levels of ageing period and sweetness, which classify them in Extra Dry, Dry, Sweet and Lágrima (tear). They are often served as aperitif, on ice or even in cocktails. Fonseca White is traditionally served chilled as an aperitif. It can also be drunk - poured over ice in a glass - topped up with tonic and a leaf of fresh mint. Accompanied by salted almonds or olives, it is an excellent aperitif.

It has a rich, fragrant nose with aromas of mellow fruit and hints of honey and oak. Full body, velvety palate and long flavour some finish.

The Fonseca Siroco White has a pale, straw colour. A superb balance of ripe fruit, delicate acidity and elegant notes of wood aging with lovely nutty tones. Full and fruity on the palate, this wine has a glorious lingering finish and an attractive, refreshing crispness. 

 Fonseca Siroco is traditionally served chilled as an aperitif. It can also be drunk - poured over ice in a glass, topped up with tonic and a leaf of fresh mint. Accompanied by salted almonds or olives, it is the perfect aperitif. 

All of them come from the Douro region in the North of the country. In 1756 the organization Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro was founded, with the intent of limiting the region and register the vines, classify the wines based on their quality and establish a set of wine practices in the region. This was how one of the first ever demarcated wine region in world was created.
The Douro region might have become famous for being the source of port wine, but nowadays it is also esteemed for its fine, rich unfortified wines.
At Wine With a View, we have a fantastic red wine from this region, too: the Foral Reserva. This wine has won the Gold Medal at Mundus Vini Summer Tasting  2015 and achieved 89 Points in the Wine Spectator Magazine in 2015. It has a 

closed red colour and ripe black fruit and timid smoked notes. It reveals jam notes that shows a perfect maturation of the grapes. Very ripe tannins and well blended with the acidity which makes this a full of character wine. Foral Reserva is ideal for rich dishes of game.

It is a quite mountainous and rugged region, and the vines are planted in the rocky and steep slopes on the banks of the Douro River. The region is divided into three sub-regions from west to east: Baixo Corgo (quite rainy, cooler and fertile), Cima Corgo, where most of the fine ports are produced and also many of today’s fine unfortified wines come from; and the Douro Superior: very cold in winter, extremely hot in summer.
There is a very big selection of local grape varieties. On older vineyards, many of them may be mixed together, in modern ones, vines are planted separately. Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão are the top choice for port. Concerning the whites, the most notable ones are Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato and Viosinho.
Cheers, and hope to see you soon, for a glass of Port Wine With a View!


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