Vinho do Porto is a renowned sweet wine from Portugal, commercialized and consumed all over the world. The name becomes from Porto, city whose port shipped the wines abroad. The vines cultivation is located on the north of the country, previous to the posterior vinification, at the Alto Douro region. The Douro River (Duero) flows between the Marao and Montemuro ranges. Cold winters and dry and hot summers. Nowadays the wines can be aged at the Alto Douro region, but until 1986 the ageing only was permitted at the town of Vilanova de Gaia, close to Porto.
Sweet fortified wine because of the addition of wine alcohol during the fermentation process. Using this operation we could stop the fermentation leaving a part of the sugars without ferment. These will be the ones that will give the sweetness to the wine. Depending on this process the wines will have different sugar concentration, with an alcoholic graduation that can oscillate between the 19 and 22%. The more remarkable red varieties afforded by the “Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto” are the Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz or Tempranillo, Tinta Amarella, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cao. Among white varieties stand out the following: Malvasia, Godello and Rabigato. Porto wines can be classified in three groups:
Red Porto or simply Porto:
Tawny Style: Aged in oak barrels and elaborated with mixtures of different vintages. Tawny will be aged during 3 years, the reserve from 5 to 7 years and those with age indications can suffer from 10 to 40 years of ageing. On the other hand, we would also like to highlight Porto Colheita, with 5 to 7 years of ageing in wine barrels but in that case with wines from the same vintage.
Ruby Style: Aged in wood barrels or stainless steel tanks, some of them can mature in bottle. Normal Ruby have an ageing of 3 years, from 5 to 7 years the Ruby reserve, and the Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) will be a single harvest Porto, aged from 4 to 6 years in wood barrels and matured in bottle during 3 years before being commercialized. Finally, the jewel of Porto, a single harvest wine from legendary vintage, aged from 2 to 3 years bottled with no filtering. Can evolve in bottle during decades.
Elaborated with white allowed varieties. White Porto are classified as Tawnies with age indications depending on the aging suffered. Little fortified.
Wined with red grapes varieties, will be differenced from the Red Porto for the maceration period of the must with grape skin.
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