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When it comes to wine, it’s true that Portugal does not have the same reputation as some of the more famous producers in Europe, such as France, Italy, and Germany. However, just because it has a slightly more understated reputation, that doesn’t mean that the wines are not worthy of attention. They absolutely are. As one of the world’s largest wine producers, and the home of the world-famous port wine, there’s much to admire about Portuguese wine. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about wine from Portugal, including the history, regions, grape information, and more.
There’s a long, long history of wine production in Portugal. If the experts are to be believed, then they’ve been producing and drinking wine in this corner of the world since at least two thousand years before the birth of Jesus. Of course, back then, what they were producing probably had little in common with the wine we drink today.
Portugal’s modern relationship with wine took off in medieval times when production was prioritised by both local monks and the British wine market (in unrelated ways). Though there’s long been an interest in wine in the country, it didn’t become integral to the country’s economy until after Portugal joined the European Union, when it was given funds to produce and promote its wine.
Portugal might not be the biggest country in Europe, but it still finds the space to have some thirteen vineyards. Of particular interest is the Douro Valley, since this is A. a really beautiful part of the country and B. perhaps the oldest wine region in the world.
Alternatively you have Minho. The vineyards there produce the country’s Vinho Verde, a light wine that is just made for those hot days.
The capital Lisbon also has its own wine region. There, you’ll find vines that are grown on the sand -- an odd sight compared to traditional standards, but they sure do produce outstanding wines.
There are more than three hundred varieties of grapes in Portugal! But of course, we can’t list them all here. Instead, we’ll just stick to the classics, which are:
If you’re looking to join in on the wine harvest fun, then book your trip to one of the country’s wine regions for September and October. There’ll be plenty of events taking place, and the weather should still be balmy, especially by UK standards.
Port is the most famous offering from Portugal, though vinho verde is also known internationally. Some of our Portugese wines for you to try:
With those, you’ll have a reasonably comprehensive overview of Portugal wine!
We have a small but perfectly formed collection of Portugese Wines in our online shop, so why not head over and take a look. We stock both the Vinho Verde Loureiro and the fabulous Vinho Verde Ponte De Lima Rose. Both are definitely worth a try.
Find out more about other wine producing countries: