Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Douro Valley’s NON Port Wines

                       Wine-Knows will have a private dinner at this very spot of the winery 

Up until nearly twenty years ago, Portugal was synonymous among serious wine aficionados with Port.   The grapes for all Port are grown in the Douro Valley some eighty miles inland from the seaside town of Porto.   While non-Port (table wine) was always produced in the Douro, it was made only for local consumption.  But, all of this has dramatically changed.  Case in point:  the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2023 listed in the coveted eleventh spot a table wine from the Douro Valley.  Indeed, the Douro Valley has become a rock-star for their non-Port wine.

       This boat, once used to transport Port barrels downstream to Porto for shipping, will transport                                          Wine-Knows to our 1st Douro table wine tasting

The biggest change moving the Douro Valley from a Port-only area to a dual focus of Port, as well as table wines, occurred in the 1990’s after Portugal entered the European Union.  EU funds became available for supporting businesses that wanted to expand, as well as new wine producers who saw the promise of the Port grape region for making table wines.   It wasn’t long before Port wineries started to offer table wines on their shelves, and new winemakers armed with serious credentials from universities flocked to the rugged region with the sole purpose of making great quality table wine.

      Our 1st winery has a Relais & Chateau hotel but Wine-Knows will be staying at the former villa                                 of the renowned Taylor Port family, located directly on the Douro River

Fast forward to 2004 when Robert Parker gave an earth-shaking 95 points to a Douro Valley table wine.  That same year the highly regarded Decanter Magazine (Britain’s version of Wine Spectator), gave a Gold Medal to a Douro table wine.  Then, in 2010 the Wine Spectator listed in their Top Ten Wines in the World a Douro Valley wine in its ninth position.  In less than twenty years, the underdog Douro Valley catapulted itself to the world stage for non-Port wine.

          Wine-Knows' last night in the Douro will be a private dinner with this winemaker

Wine-Knows will be spending two nights in the Douro Valley this autumn and will be visiting two super-star wineries.  Both properties produce some of the Douro’s highest scoring Port, as well as table wines.   Wine-Knows are being hosted for a private dinner at one of these wineries, and a full line-up of their most prestigious wines will be served.


As they say in Portugal, bom apetite!

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