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Wines of the Region

The Douro region is internationally recognised for both its Port Wines and its table wines. The Douro’s range of wines is extensive and there is something for everyone’s tastes.

Grapes of the Douro | © Museu do DouroWhite wine grapes and red wine grapes | © Museu do DouroBunch of grapes of the Douro | © Museu do DouroQuinta da Pacheca | © Judite RochaRabelo boat of Castelinho wines | © Museu do DouroWine of the Douro region | © Museu do DouroNoble grape varieties | © Museu do DouroBarrel of Quinta Nova | © Museu do DouroGrapes of the Douro | © Museu do DouroAdega Cooperativa de Murça | © Museu do DouroGrapes of the Douro | © Museu do DouroA toast | © Judite RochaMuscat grapes in the Douro | © Melanie AntunesMaking wine at Quinta do Passadouro | © Judite RochaWine at Quinta do Portal | © Judite RochaVineyards of Quinta da Rapada | © Museu do DouroQuinta da Pacheca | © Judite RochaWinery at Peso da Régua | © Cida GarciaDouro grapes during growth | © Museu do DouroLuxury transportation | © Museu do DouroGrapes of the Douro | © Museu do DouroNúcleo Museológico Favaios, Pão e Vinho | © Museu do Douro

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Douro Wine Cellars, Quintas

The best known Douro wine is the infamous sweet and full-bodied Port Wine with its high percentage of alcohol (normally between 19 and 22% vol.). This wine has unique flavours, not only due to where the grapes are grown and the specific climate, but also due to how it is produced. The fermentation of the must (unfermented grape juice) is interrupted with the addition of Aguardente Vínica (alcohol distilled from wine). Interrupting the fermentation at this stage ensures that wine remains very sweet.

Douro wines are divided into three broad categories: Red Wine, White Wine and Rosé Wine. The first group is produced from a variety of grape types, such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz (Aragonez), Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão. Young red wines, consumed a few years after the harvest, have fruity aromas and a rich ruby red colour. They should be served between 13 and 15 ºC to accompany light dishes with meat or pasta. Red wines kept for ageing usually have “Reserve” or “Grand Reserve” written on the bottle label and their colour and flavour is more intense. They should be served between 16 and 18ºC to accompany red meat with strong flavours or game (particularly for aged red wine).

Douro white wine is ideal to accompany fish dishes. It is produced from grape varieties such as Malvasia Fina, Viosinho, Gouveio and Rabigato. The young white wines should be served chilled, between 8 and 10ºC. They are refreshing wines, pale in colour and have fruity and floral aromas. The white wines kept for ageing are more golden in colour with tasty aromas which are acquired from their time spent in contact with the wood. They should be served at around 12ºC with fish dishes, such as salmon and cod or white meat, such as rabbit or chicken. Just as with the red wines kept for ageing, the white wines have “Reserve or “Grand Reserve” written on the label.

The production of rosé wine in Douro is more recent and thus production levels are lower. As the name suggests, these wines have a beautiful pink colour and fruity aromas that combine sweet and sharp flavours. They should be consumed within one or two years after the harvest and they should be served between 10 and 12ºC. They are perfect as aperitifs or with light meals.

Douro also offers other special wines that are produced from grapes grown at higher altitudes, such as Moscatel do Douro - a fortified wine produced in the same way as Port Wine but using entirely Moscatel grapes; Espumante do Douro - a Sparkling Douro Wine (VEQPRD) and Colheita Tardia - a wine made from grapes harvested very late in the season and over-matured using the noble rot effect.

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