The wine culture

of Portugal

portuese Wine culture
The Phoenicians brought vines and cultivation techniques to the west of Europe, the ancient Greeks and Romans expanded viticulture and intensified wine trading. The Moorish empire, however, brought viticulture, the production and consumption of wine to an end by the year 715. In the first half of the 12th century Cistercians gradually migrated Portugal from the north and founded a number of monasteries, which gave birth to the substantial and lasting Portuguese viticulture. King Diniz I of Burgundy, also known as "farmer" and "peasant king", who ruled around 1279, promoted agriculture and viticulture in such a way that his merchant fleets grew and became the foundation for the rise and world power.
Battle of Aljubarrota at Alcobaca
The Portuguese defeated the Spanish during the battle of Aljubarrota near Alcobaça in 1385 and regained their independence. This with the the support of England. The Treaty of Windsor in 1386 confirmed the alliance with Great Britain (which is still in force - the oldest diplomatic alliance in Europe!). Then the island of Madeira was first rediscovered in 1419 under the rule of Prince Henrique de Avis, also known as Henry the Navigator (who did not undertake a single voyage of discovery, but promoted navigation intensively). He then colonised and planted with muscatel and malvasia grapes on the islands. .
And when Henry Mannen came across the Azores in 1427, Father Pedro Gigante brought the first Verdelho vines to the island of Pico. The wine-growing in the middle of the Atlantic became a lasting success: In the 17th and 18th centuries the wines of the Azores were delivered to the court of the Russian tsars. Even the USA toasted with Portuguese wines from ;madeira to celebrate the Declaration of Independence on 4th of July in 1776. Pirates significantly contributed to the spreading of these island wines! .
Port Wine
In 1693, port wine, today one of the country's most famous specialities, had its breakthrough: French wines became unaffordable due to high customs duties resulting in the export hits and hypes of Portuguese red wines, especially port wine and wines from Madeira. Portugal passed the world's first law limiting the size of a production area in 1756 in order to protect the Alto Douro port wine region,
The spread of mildew and phylloxera towards the end of the 19th century slowed down the wine production massively. But in the 1930s numerous winegrowers' cooperatives began to re-cultivate the vineyards. The carnation revolution of 1974, which ended the dictatorship led to a renaissance of Portuguese viticulture.
mildew in Portugal
portuguese Vineyards
The vineyard area of Portugal us about 250,000 ha today, with an annual production of 5 to 6 million hectolitres. Over 40 classified wines are produced in five wine-growing regions, 26 of them with DOC status - this means Denominação de Origem Controlada and corresponds to the german Prädikatswein, the Spanish DOCa or the French AOP. Six regions produce VQPRD wines (synonymous with quality or VDQS wines), eight regions produce vin de pays (Vinho Regional, corresponding to the French IGP, formerly Vin de Pays). The rest is table wine (Vinho de Mesa).
Thanks to its varied climate and geological conditions, Portugal has more than 500 autochthonous grape varieties, of which about 350 are authorised for wine production. The Malvasia de Colares, from north of Sintra near the Atlantic coast is one of the extremely rare wines which still grow on their original roots.
portuguese vines
The phylloxera, which destroyed almost all other European vines in the 19th century, could not survive in the deep sandy soil of Colares. The most important red wine grape varieties are Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz, Baga, Castelão Francês, Touriga Francesca and Touriga Nacional. The main white varieties are Alvarinho, Arinto, Avesso, Azal, Bical, Encruzado, Loureiro, Trajadura and Verdelho. The best known product of the country for a long time was the Mateus Rosé, produced as a mass wine.
The islands of Graciosa, Terceira and Pico in the Azores produce wine as well. The total vineyard area is about 400 ha, the annual wine production is about 12,000 hectolitres. Only white wines are produced on Graciosa and sweet wines on Terceira. Red, white and sweet wines are produced on the island of Pico, where Merlot dominates the red varieties with an area of around 45 hectares.
Vineyards on the Azores
Climate on the Azores
Wine growing in the Azores is extremely labour-intensive and requires special measures to protect the vines against the strong winds and sea salt. The vineyards are divided into plots surrounded by walls of layered lava stones - The vines can produce a yield only in this way. And in 2004 the vineyards of Currais on the sailed of Pico were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. .
Text researched and developed by Charlotte Münch. © Copyright & all other rights and/or licenses of texts on weinstore24 belong to