The Douro Valley is the home of Port and is itself a truly magical place. Steep-sided vineyard terraces line the River Douro and its tributaries; a tough vineyard setting, but one that heaps its rewards and shows just how much Port is intrinsically linked to the heart and soul of the area. The viticultural challenges has lead growers to experiment with terrace design – socalcos, patamares and vinha ao alto – to best make the most of the topography whilst at the same time protecting the vineyards from erosion.
Whilst some producers make white and rosé styles, the focus of attention here is on red Ports. With a variety of styles to choose from – Vintage, Tawny, LBV, Colheita, Reserva and Single Quinta – the illustrious Port houses are consistently producing wines that offer world-class quality at affordable prices, something that is virtually unmatched across any other classic wine region.
The perception of Port has changed dramatically over recent years. Gone are the days when Port was associated as a seasonal Christmas drink served with a wedge of Stilton; today we rarely end a great lunch or dinner without a bottle and indeed have been known to accept a glass at almost any occasion. Port certainly has something for everyone.