I warmly welcome all! A brief overview of the history of Portuguese wine including Portugal's prestige grapevine, the Touriga Nacional (updated in January 2019)

Category: Blog & events
on 13 October 2017
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It's a real pleasure to inform you that my site has just been improved and modernized. I hope that what I offer you and what I will write about from time-to-time will be helpful and enhance your knowledge of Portuguese wines. I want to share my passion for Portugal and its wines with you. For this reason, I will describe the wines and Portuguese grape varieties. I will show you how to pair it with food (i.e. wine pairing). I will share news from the Portuguese wine industry, introduce all my business partners from Portugal, including their wineries, and inform you of interesting events. All of this will help you to choose and enjoy my Portuguese wines, which are best when shared with family and friends in the celebration of life. I'm confident that these extraordinary wines from remarkable wineries will exceed your expectations!

All your comments are very appreciated. My business activity has the international character, so you can use either language for communication with me (English, German, Russian, Polish, Portuguese). My cosmopolitan views give me the flexibility to find common ground with human beings of every nation and tongue.

Hmm..., if ask you directly, what we really know about the wines of Portugal? I was greatly shocked a few times because some individuals didn't know where Portugal is...’’Are they planting grapevines there...???’’ – they asked.

Yes, for a very long time. How long is the wine around in Portugal? Some sources say more than 4000 years. It is supposed that the Tartessos planted vines in regions of the Tagus Valley and the Sado Valley about 2000 years BC (it is sufficiently probable that the Tartessos is Tarshish mentioned in the Bible, for example in Jonah 1:3). This ancient civilization based in the south of the Iberian Penisula and heirs of the Andalusian Megalithic culture were the first to domesticate vineyards and introduce winemaking principles in the Alentejo region. The Tartessos were succeeded in the southern Iberian Penisula by the Phoenicians, a civilization of maritime traders. Bearing this in mind, Portugal, at the crossroads between Europe, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, is one of the best and most original producers of quality wine in the world. Moreover, the weather conditions in Portugal are simply perfect, and thus wine growing tradition has been deeply rooted here over the millennia.

If we analyze some facts it becomes to us that Portugal is an influential player in the world's wine industry. With 199 000 hectares of vineyards, Portugal is 4th European power. This year’s production (2017) of wine in Portugal will increase to 10% and would reach the level of 6,6 million hectolitres. Portugal ranks as the country with the second largest number of indigenous grape varieties, not found in other parts of the world. Portugal and its wines have come brilliantly alive, with new producers and new wines arriving on the market seemingly every day. Well, these are wines that should be appearing at your dinner table. If you have a favourite go-to wine, whether it's Grenache, Chianti, or Riesling, chances are that Portugal has a fresh alternative that might cost even less. Have you ever heard of Castelão or Antão Vaz? These are just two of the many grapes that are native to Portugal, and not grown much anywhere else. Portugal, separated on the Atlantic edge of the Iberian Peninsula, has protected itself from the conformity of traditional international grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, which almost fill our supermarket shelves and wine lists throughout the whole world. The superiority of Portuguese wines is associated with the fact that they are incredibly diverse and unusual on a global scale.

Portugal continues to be the 9th largest exporter of wine worldwide, according to data from the IVV (Institute of Vine and Wine) published in November 2018. Currently, France, the United States and the United Kingdom are the three main destinations of Portuguese wines, where 33% of exported wine goes. In France, we grew by 12.9% in volume and by 7.8% in value in 2018. Of note is the fact that, from 2013 to 2017, Portugal increased its exports to the USA by 41%. In the United Kingdom, the country grew in this period by 9% in value and exported at an average price higher than the United Kingdom imports. China, South Korea and Poland are the most attractive in the medium term, according to an IVV study that has assessed growth rates in recent years. From 2013 to 2017, Portugal increased its exports to China by 100%. For South Korea, the number comes to 510% in the same period. Poland, for its part, received a further 35% in volume of Portuguese wine, with an increase of 46% in value.

Portugal is indeed one of the most exciting wine producing countries now, with talented winemakers and winegrowers, an excellent terroir for grape growing, and at a very reasonable price for the quality offered. ‘A World of Difference’ is the unimaginative slogan of Wine of Portugal - main wine authority of Portugal.

Wine production in Portugal in 2017/2018

Top 10 wine producing countries 2017

Portugal is an influential player in the world's wine industry. With 199 000 hectares of vineyards, it is 4th European power. This year’s production (2017) of wine in Portugal will increase to 10% and would reach the level of 6,6 million hectolitres Click to Tweet

I come now to the core of my today’s post: I want to share with you some information about the most impressive Portugal grapevine, which is proud of Portugal and the local hero. I present you the Touriga Nacional.

The Touriga Nacional is one of the oldest grapevines in Portugal. It has small, thick-skinned, but extremely sweet and aromatic grapes. They have a profound depth of flavour (especially black fruits) and a high concentration of tannins, giving excellent structure and ageing capacity. The Touriga Nacional gives dense, rich, inky wines and is extremely powerful and explosive grape. Traditionally, the Dão and Douro were the only regions to use this grape, but times have changed. Now winemakers offer excellent blended red wines with Touriga Nacional from all over Portugal, bringing an unmistakable aromatic richness to wines. Therefore I suggest wines from the Lisbon region and from the Alentejo region (incidentally, wines from Alentejo are now the most popular in Portugal). These blends are based on Touriga Nacional: from native varieties of Portugal (Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Alfrocheiro, Castelão, Trincadeira, Baga) to international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante Bouschet, and Syrah. So very often you find blends, which a unique mixture of different kinds of Portuguese grapes will typically add acidity and red fruit flavours to help balance the boldness of Touriga Nacional and bringing an unmistakable aromatic richness to wines. It’s easy to find the Touriga Nacional blends that are outstanding value in the range starting from €5. However, the crown jewels of some Portuguese wineries are wines based on 100% of Touriga Nacional. Pure Touriga Nacional which is an undisputable star of Portuguese viticulture.

The crown jewels of some Portuguese wineries are wines based on 100% of Touriga Nacional. Proud of Portugal - pure Touriga Nacional Click to Tweet

I offer you a wide range of the following Touriga Nacional based wines:

  1. PONTUAL TOURIGA NACIONAL RED 2015
    Grape variety – 100% Touriga Nacional (single grape)
  1. ADEGA MÃE TOURIGA NACIONAL RED 2014
    Grape variety – 100% Touriga Nacional (single grape)
  1. QUINTA DO MONTE D'OIRO AURIUS RED 2011 - Signature Wine of 4000 bottles
    Grape variety – 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Syrah
  1. MANZWINE LISBOA 2015
    Grape variety – 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Castelão
  1. RISO COLHEITA ESPECIAL RED 2013
    Grape variety – 75% Touriga Nacional, 10% Syrah, 10% Alfrocheiro and 5% Sousão
  1. RISO CELEBRADO RED 2014 10th Anniversary - limited edition of 3000 bottles
    Grape variety – 75% Touriga Nacional, 10% Syrah, 10% Alfrocheiro and 5% Sousão
  1. DAMASCENO RESERVA RED 2013
    Grape variety – 60% Touriga Nacional and 40% Syrah
  1. ADEGA MÃE DORY RED 2014
    Grape variety – 52% Touriga Nacional, 19% Tinta Roriz, 18% Merlot, 11% Syrah
  1. MANZWINE D.O.C. DOURO RED 2010
    Grape variety – 50% Touriga Nacional and 50% Tinta Roriz
  1. VINHA DO ALMO ESCOLHA RED 2014
    Grape variety – Touriga Nacional, Aragonêz, Alicante Bouschet

Portuguese wines are of great value even if you don't have to remember all the names of the grapes. Portugal continues to be the second largest neighbour of Spain, Italy and France in the world of wine but has become increasingly popular in recent years. Buy them from me and receive one home soon!

The Touriga Nacional is the heart and soul of the Portuguese wines Click to Tweet

Comments (1)

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