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The Douro… the land made for winemaking

The scenery of the Douro region is spectacular. As far as the eye can see, the mountainous terrain is covered with countour-line-like terraces. The scale is impressive, too. There’s just so much of it. I don’t think I’m exaggerating too much when I say that the Douro is one of the wonders of the world.

Then there’s the soil. The ‘terroir’, is just about perfect for growing quality wine grapes. It’s schist, with a bit of granite here and there. It doesn’t look promising for growing anything, but vines flourish in these conditions. The poor soil encourages them to sink their roots deep, where they find a steady but stingy water supply and divert their energies to grape production.

In a relatively short period of time the Douro has established itself as Portugal’s premium wine region. It’s hard to overstate the scale and pace of change that is currently taking place in this most spectacular of wine regions. Table wine has always been made here but were secondary to the requirements of Port producers. In recent years a critical mass of like-minded winemakers has emerged, passionate about making the very best wines that these remarkable terroirs are capable of.

| Appellation

• Douro DOC

cvdouroSince so much effort is now being put in to making table wine from the very wide range of climates, soils and expositions that exist within the Douro, it would be a mistake to expect them all to conform to a single style. Grapes grown in this very dry region are typically high in tannin and flavour. Sophisticated management of the tannins is therefore essential, acidification is often necessary and there is no need for extended maceration to extract colour and other phenolics. Touriga Nacional is the most famous Douro grape which make the most flagrantly, fragrantly floral wines, often found blended with other grapes but increasingly found as a single varietal wine. Douro winemakers also treasure the structure offered by the grape now called Touriga Franca (once Francesa), or Tinto Cão for its perfume.

Well known for the quality of its red wine, whites in the Douro are now increasing in popularity. They tend to be dry and crisp, citrus and often floral. THe grapes that used to dissapear into making white Ports are now used for a new generation of elegant, complex, barrel-fermented Douro DOC whites. There are even a few sweet Muscatals, and good Espumates (sparling wines).

CVR Douro Official Website [ go ]

Dynamic Douro

Voyage of Discovery, Dynamic Douro,
selection case of 6, save 10%

Symington Family - Altano Reserva Tinto Douro DOC 2008
Castelo D'Alba - Branco Douro DOC 2009
Quinta do Vallado - Tinto Douro DOC 2008
Sogrape - Planalto Reserva Douro DOC 2009

Casa Ferreirinha - Vinha Grande Tinto Douro DOC 2008
Borges - Lello Branco Douro DOC 2009

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• Port DOC

We've decided for clarity purposes to give Port its own page, however its correct to say its demarcation falls within the Douro region.
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• Vinho Regional (VR) Duriensecvr_duriense

Those wines of good quality from the Douro that don't adhere to the stringent DOC restraints or outside the designated areas.


Ramos Pinto,
Bon Ares Tinto
Vinho Regional Duriense 2007

Dark, dense colour. The bouquet boasts very intense violet aromas with touches of pepper and ripe fruit.
£13.50 a bottle.

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Sub Regions:

• Baixo Corgo - The westernmost zone located downstream from the river Corgo, a total area of 45,000 hectares, centered on the municipality of Peso da Régua, here the largest concentration of vineyards can be found – 29.9% of the sub-region' area. This region is the wettest part of the Douro wine region, receiving an average of 900 mm, and has the coolest average temperature of the three zones. It is the most fertile of the three, the main reasons being the higher rainfall and the ability of creating deeper soils.

• Cima Corgo - Located further upstream from the Baixo Corgo, the landscape changes almost dramatically, centred around the town of Pinhão (municipality of Alijó). Hill slopes become more rugged and river and stream valleys are deeper, while soil and climate conditions are harder. Of its 95,000 hectares, vineyards currently cover no more than 17.9%. Small ownership prevails but quality is generally high. The summertime average temperature of the regions are a few degrees higher and rainfall is about 200 mm less. The grapes grown in this zone are considered of higher quality.


Reserva Tinto Douro DOC 2008

A smooth taste, with ripe tannins. The strong fruity fiavour predominates with hints of toasty oak which prolongs the aftertaste.
£14.83 a bottle.

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• Douro Superior - The easternmost zone extending nearly to the Spanish border. It is the largest sub-region, with a total area of 110,000 hectares. However, only 7.3% of this area is planted with vineyards. In comparison with the other two sub-regions, Douro Superior is less mountainous, with generally softer slopes and less deep valleys. Its climate is typically Mediterranean-style, with the highest summer temperatures and annual rainfall of about 400 mm. This is the most arid and warmest region of the Douro.


Tinto Douro DOC 2008

Wild black cherries with a touch of spice from oak aging.
£8.00 a bottle.

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