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Tag Archives: port wine

Spotlight on Douro Wine Producer: Quinta do Portal

There really is nothing in the world quite like heading to the Douro Valley and visiting the vast array of Douro and Port wine producers nestled across the steep terraced vineyards. Yet, it surprises me how so many of these producers won’t open their doors to the public, despite the increasing number of consumers eager to taste their wines before purchasing. For wine enthusiasts who want to make the most of their Douro trip, it’s important to know which wineries are welcome to the public year round instead of playing Russian Roulette. That being said, I’m happy to start you off with a winery you can count on: Quinta do Portal. Earlier this month, my parents and I visited their winery, without a prior appointment, and […]

The Art of Choosing Your Birth Year Port

Editor’s Note: Many moons ago, Ryan and I had the privilege of cracking open our first birth year wine; which translates to a wine produced on the year of your birth. Having coasted well into our 30′s, there are few wines that could last the test of time other than a wine with a touch of fortification, such as a Quinta do Noval 1975 Vintage Port. This stunning little Port was nothing other than extraordinary, and a considerably better gift than a wok. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Axel Probst. Based in Germany, Axel is a teacher, journalist and wine writer, not to mention an ex-airforce pilot and a European Champion in the 100 meter backstroke. In short, our friend is seriously […]

Adegga Wine Market: Featuring Douro Wines

Editor’s Note: Catavino is excited to support 3 fellow innovators who have taken a very windy, but productive road, to find their crowned jewel. André Cid, André Ribeirinho, and Emídio Santos are the cofounders of Adegga, a social wine discovery tool, which eventually spawned the Adegga Wine Market. The Market is now on its 5th addition and is growing like gangbusters. Today, we’re featuring an interview with André Ribeirinho about the Adegga Wine Market as one of many places where you can not only seek out Port and Douro wines, but quite often, meet the winemakers themselves. If you happen to be in Lisbon, please take a moment to check it out! Can you tell us a bit about the Wine Market and […]

IVDP: The Structural Body Behind Quality Port Wine

Many of us who love a good glass of wine would agree with Robert Louis Stevenson, whose famous quote says “Wine is bottled poetry”. And while I may not recite Emily Dickenson or Thoreau with every glass, there is no doubt that certain wines speak to us in ways that elicit the feelings that are associated with appreciating fine art, a piece of music or a classic poem. Perhaps it is the hope of every winemaker that all who drink his wine experience this ethereal, sensory experience. However, as I discovered on a recent visit to Portugal, it’s not always just the winemakers who want the wine to be of earth-moving quality, but the industry regulators too. Trade bodies exist […]

What Port to Choose and When

So, you’ve heard all about Port and it sounds fantastic, life-enhancing and a gift from nature, but which one to drink? Sometimes the stuff we build to help make sense of life actually gets in the way of enjoying it. It is useful to categorise port by how it is made and aged but then the options can seem daunting. What matters is how it is going to be enjoyed, not how it was made. The reality is that you only really have to ask yourself 2 simple questions to get a good idea of what port style to choose. The next time you realise that there simply hasn’t been enough Port in your life recently, and that happens surprisingly […]

Port Wine: The Pivotal Practice of Blending Indigenous Grape Varieties of the Douro Valley

They do it in Bordeaux. They do it in Champagne. They do it in many of the world’s best wine regions to enhance longevity and endurance. So what are all these classic and sophisticated regions doing to enhance their wares? Blending of course! Another revered style of wine, in line with Bordeaux and Champagne, that owes its character to the art and science of blending, is Port. Port is a fortified wine named after Portugal’s second largest city of Porto, from where the wine has been shipped for over 300 years – but most of us know it as the bottle that comes out once a year at Christmas! During a recent visit to the beautiful city of Oporto and […]

The Essential Guide to Port Wine – Just in Time for the Holidays

It’s already November which means that plans and parties for Holidays are about to get into full swing. We’re getting ready for weeks of socializing, eating and drinking, culminating into one massive feast before the New Year. One of the many wonderful traditions of the Christmas celebration is the requisite appearance of the dusty old bottle or ¾ full decanter of Port. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the block of Stilton that magically appears on the dining room table during the last week of December. These rituals are brilliant and long may they continue, but port is much more than a toddy for Santa’s helpers. Most of us who enjoy port but once a year, myself included, may not be […]

The Place Behind the Port: Diving into the Douro Valley

Do you remember as a kid in the playground, climbing to the top of a slide and looking down to the bottom, thinking how high up you were? Well, standing at the top of any of the near-vertical vineyards in Portugal’s Douro Valley is a similar sensation! The Douro Valley runs west to east, 70km inland from the coastal city of Porto, and sits along the winding Douro River. The scenery in the valley is some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen in a wine region. Not only because of the precipitous nature of the vineyards, which are striking in their own right, but also as you stand on the top of a vineyard and look around, you see […]

Welcome to Porto: The Gateway to the Valley

Editor’s Note: Today, we start the very exciting project of covering the Douro Valley for the next month. This means that all things Portuguese will be gracing your computer, consisting of a vast array of Portuguese food, culture, tourism, and of course, wine. Enjoy! For those arriving by air, the first impressions of Portugal’s Douro Valley start in Porto, a grand sprawling magical metropolis of 2 million people, cloven in two by the Douro river, which acts as a gateway to the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. I hadn’t been back to Porto since the European Football Championships in 2004, when the green and red of the national flag hung out of every window and balcony for the duration of the […]

Douro: A Portuguese Region Sprinkled with Pixie Dust

Dreams can be silly. Not the kind that leave you befuddled in the morning, wondering if you’re awake or asleep, but the type that remain on your “maybe one day” wish list. I had a dream. From the moment I learned about how Port wine was made, I wanted to climb into the lagars and earn my “purple foot” badge. Today, I’m proud to say that I finally did it! Granted, it was the “tourist version”, sans the 3 hour stomp and the strict discipline in how we marched, but at least my friends and I on the #Douro12 tour did get sticky. Very sticky. Dreams are inherently different from reality. While we were visiting Quinta de Leda, part of […]