In recent months there’s been a huge push by Portuguese wines into the mainstream in UK wine market. I guess for years it’d been the place where Port comes from, oh and maybe a bit of Mateus Rosé on the side. Well luckily for us wine-o’s Portugal has really stepped up through the gears of late, and none more so than the Douro Valley.
The Douro itself is a river that flows from mainland Spain (where it’s called the Duero) cutting through the warm hilly areas of eastern Portugal, through the rainy peaks of western Portugal, and out to the Atlantic.
The wine region actually runs pretty much on a straight line down the valley across Portugal. As you go west to east it gets warmer, drier, and more mountainous. That’s not to say you want to grow grapes in one place or another. You want to grow grapes everywhere and make the most of the climate differences.
That’s what the Portuguese have been doing for years with Port, which tends to be a blended (fortified) wine. Well now they can do it with the dry wines too. It’s prime blending country, with the homegrown Touriga Naçional taking the limelight.
It’s because of this climate variation and option of blending different grapes that means that it’s very rare to have two red Douros that are the same. And that’s what makes it great fun to drink!
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