Portugal is best known to be the home of Port wines. However, over the past years, this small yet amazing country is starting to create a name in the wine industry, making Portuguese wines’ quality to be recognized with numerous awards internationally.
This recognition has been leading Portugal into increased exportation, good reputation, and escalating numbers of wine tourism. With that, the country is now known as one of the largest producers of wines and has more to offer than just Port wine.
Moreover, there are also numerous interesting facts about the wines in Portugal that many of you may not know. If you want to learn more about Portuguese wines, here are five of its interesting information that every wine lover should be aware of.
Portugal Placed as 11th Largest Wine Producer Around the Globe
Although Portugal is relatively small when it comes to size, this small country owns the 11th place among the most prominent wine producers around the globe. In fact, 500,000 acres of its land is dedicated to the production of local wines.
Moreover, compared to other giant countries with land masses ten or more times the size of Portugal, such as the United States and France, this small state does a great job of keeping up with gigantic players.
All Wines Produced in Portugal Must-Have Authenticity Seal
Regardless of the grape, quality, or estate, all wines produced in Portugal must carry an authenticity seal. This seal is proof that the wine is a genuine product of the country. With that said, whether you want to purchase a port wine for your collection or as a gift, you should find an authenticity seal at the back of the bottle before paying it on the counter.
Port Wine is Always Sweet, No Exceptions
One of the main characteristics of port wine is its sweet taste. 1985 Dow Vintage Port, for example, is one of the famous port wines with a sweet and fleshy palate that is so refined and inviting. It shows a touch of bricking to go along with clove, cinnamon, and developed aroma of cedar.
On top of that, all port wines have to be sweet. Why? Because it is the product of the fortification procedure. It is only possible when there’s a glut of sugar left behind that provides a sweet taste to the drink. Hence, wines without a bit of sweetness can’t be considered as fortified products and, therefore, classified into other categories.
Most of the Portuguese Grape Varieties are Native
In Portugal, the typical Cabernet or Chardonnay grapes don’t belong to the ingredients of wine here. Portuguese use the variety of grapes that grow in their country. These native grapes have a unique classification and are hard to grow and find elsewhere around the globe.
Among hundreds of native grapes in Portugal, the fewer unknowns are:
- Rabigato. It is one of Douro’s best white grapes with medium-sized narrow bunches and tiny yellow-green fruit.
- Tinta Barroca. Primarily grown in the Douro region, Tinta Barroca is a Portuguese red wine grape. It has naturally high sugar levels, which is extremely useful for fortified wine production.
- Touriga Nacional. Considered by Portugal’s finest, Touriga Nacional is a variety of red wine grape. It has aging potential like Cabernet Sauvignon and a common type used as a blending grape in making Port wine.
- Tinta Roriz. It is a rare variety of grapes that has a black color. Tinta Roriz is popular in making still wines and Port.
- Touriga Franca. It is one of the major vine varieties used to manufacture port wines. In fact, Touriga Franca is the fifth most planted grape in Portugal.
- Alvarinho. It is an old variety of grapes that has exceptional quality. Alvarinho has a highly unique floral and fruity profile with notes of balm mint, lime tree, grapefruit, peach, honeysuckle, and apple.
- Baga. One of the popular Portuguese grape varieties, Baga, is a dark-skinned grape and is most concentrated in the Beiras area particularly in Bairrada and Dão.
- Fernão Pires. Also known as Maria Gomes, Fernão Pires is a white wine grape that grown around Portugal, especially in Bairrada and Tejo. This grape variety is commonly used to produce wines with spicy aromatic character.
A lot of these grapes directly descend from pre-historic vine plants that grow in the country and have gone through thousands of years of climate change and human presence.
There are Numerous Wines Produced in Portugal Aside From Port
While Port is the most popular Portuguese wine and what brings Portugal on the world of wine map, there are also various types of wines produced in the country that are worth discovering. Concerning this, Portugal also produces excellent white, red, rose, and even sparkling wines.
Moreover, one of the several Portuguese wines that are starting to make popularity around the world is Vinho Verde or green wine but is a white wine by class. It’s a type of beverage that is incredibly light to drink and usually low in alcohol.