Porto and Douro wine region is long famous worldwide for the unique production of the Port Wine. However, this wine region has much more to offer like an amazing gastronomy and rich unfortified red and white wines.
The wine region is very different from all the others of Portugal Continental, due to geography of the terrain. Mostly mountainous is perhaps one of the most wildest and rugged of Portugal. Has deep twists and curves due to river Douro. Gravity is a challenge on the steep slopes, especially during the harvest in the end of August, beginning of September.
One interesting note is the fact of the historic, narrow and stoned walled vine terraces became a UNESCO World Heritage site, in the centre of the region.
In what concerns wine region dimension, it starts at Porto ( Oporto ). Gaia still has the most famous wine cellars, on previous days, warehouses where barrels were transported by boat. The transportation could go till Mesão Frio, more or less 90 km up-river.
With periods of rain, it falls mainly on the western side of Marão while on the east side is almost desert. There are three sub-regions called Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.
Baixo Corgo is cooler and fertile, while Cima Corgo ( São João da Pesqueira, Tua, Pinhão ) is the heart of port wine and tine unfortified wines. Douro Superior is known to be very cold in the western and extremely hot in summer.
Porto and Douro grape varieties
The wine region due to the different weather conditions and terroir has impressive vineyards, produces dozens of grape varieties in the old vineyards and more recently they are planted separately. The top grape varieties on the region are :
Red wines: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Barroca and much more has mentioned before.
White wines: Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Gouveio, Viosinho and Rabigato.
A short note and exception due to Port wine, the top grape varieties for Port Wine production are: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão.