The Essential Guide To Port, A Global Powerhouse Born Of A Happy Accident

What is Port, anyway? Likely, you’ve encountered this potent wine often served at the end of a meal, but where does it comes from?

Port is a Portuguese wine that is made by adding distilled grape spirit, usually brandy, to a wine base. The addition of the high-alcohol spirit stops fermentation and “fortifies” the wine. Made in Portugal’s Douro Valley, only wines that are produced in this region can be labeled Port or Oporto in Europe. All grapes must be grown and processed in this specific region.

The soils of the Douro River Valley consist predominately of schist and granite. The region is divided into three zones that sit west to east hugging the river: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. The western part of the valley possesses a Mediterranean climate that produces warm summers and a fair amount of rain, however as you move more inland toward the Douro Superior, the climate becomes more dry and arid.