Port Wine, history and common styles

Port Wine is a fortified wine from Portugal. It is sweet and has four common styles, which we will be able to subdivide. 

Port Wine History

“Port” was named due to the transportation of oaks between Douro Valley and Porto, 2nd major city of Portugal. Located in the mouth of Douro river and the water front of Atlantic Ocean. The oaks were transported by barcos rabelos, with lots of colors. Today, are more considered as an experience and winemakers / wine estates dont use it anymore. 

Porto Wine Tour, Port Wine Tasting

The major cellars are located in the south margin of Douro River, while in Porto was common the commerce. Port become popular in 17th century, when English were in war with France. For this reason, wine suppliers reduced their activity and english searched for alternatives. Back to those days, Port Wine trade was dominated by powerful shipping families. For this reason, Port producers were and still have the reference of “shippers”. The large majority of these families were British and for this reason, they still reflect their name in famous Port Wines. Is all the Port Wine the same? Are there any differences? Colors? Tastes?

Common Styles of Port Wine

There are several different and official categories of Port. Douro Valley wine region is very unique, beautiful landscape where you will be able to enjoy mountains and the river. Anyway, the most common styles of Port Wine are : 

Ruby ( Red ) Port : usually darker and deeply-colored red Port where we can divided in Late-Bottled Vintage ( LBV ), Crusted, Ruby Port and of course the most unique ones, Vintage Port .

Tawny Port : also sweet as fortified wines, barrel aged with oxidative nut and/or caramel flavors. 

White Port : not so common and famous , however delicious. Based on Portuguese grape varieties, usually Malvasia, Rabigato,  Viosinho and Gouveio . 

Rosé Port : more recent, this new style of Port is similar to rosé wine, influenced by flavors of caramel, violets and strawberry´s . 

What grapes make port ?

Well, there is no correct answer for this question. Why? Because you will find more than 50 indigenous Portuguese grapes to produce Port Wine. What we can say is that the top 5 red grapes are Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão and Tinta Amarela, while white grape varieties for the White Port are : Donzelinho Branco, Esgana-Cão e Rabigato .

Douro Valley Ports, usually receives excellent reviews on national and international media as sign of recognization of the products .Recently Wine Enthusiast gave 100 points to Porto Ferreira Vintage 2018.