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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The World's Top Ten Most Famous Wine Regions and Wine Holiday Destinations Part 8: PORTUGAL.


Wine regions.
More than any other European country, Portugal has remained steepped in tradition even as it has modernized. The grapes for certain wines are still painstakingly trodden by foot in ancient lagers, and in the hilly wine regions of the northeast, vineyards must still be worked by hand.

Pressing grapes by foot.
Historically, there have been two Portugals - the Portugal that made Port and the Portugal that made dry table wines.

Portugal is more known for its Port, than for its wine. Port is of course a sweet, fortified wine that can be aged for centuries. Port comes from only one place in the world, that is the 70-mile-long demarcated Port region in the Douro river valley. In Portugal the river cuts a gorgelike valley through the arid, rocky, unforgiving land, ultimately crossing the entire country and washing into the Atlantic at the town of Oporto, which by the way is the town that Port derived its name from.
Madeira is also famous in Portugal.

The beautiful Douro Valley.
The most highly rated wines from Portugal are produced in the Barca Velha located within the Douro region which is an unforgiving region with vineyards on the sheer, steep hillsides of the valley and with long hot summers.

Madeira bottles.
The most famous wines of Portugal apart from Port and Madeira, are:
Alentejo - red;
Bairrada - red;
Dao - red;
Douro - red;
Vinho verde - white
Setubal - white (fortified, sweet).

Vintage port.
Portuguese wine tours are very romantic, once organised professionally. The wine lodges of Oporto and the Quintas of the Douro Valley are landmarks on any fine wine lovers map. Wine tourism has developed faster in Portugal than in Spain, as the Portugues realized decades ago the value of their wine heritage.

Pasteis De Nata.
Portugese Stuffed Squid.

Portugese Fried Cod..

Anyone can go to lodges on their own, but special VIP private tours are organized by top operators where vineyard owners and winemakers themselves will be hosts to the participants, with visits to hidden restaurants, and sampling of Portugues cuisine and the best wines, Ports and Madiera.

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