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Second largest city Portugal with about 216,000 inhabitants in the north of the country on the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the river Douro, In England, the city was referred to as "Oporto" in the 17th and 18th centuries, because it is customary in the Portuguese language to give the city name the "male" article "o" (o Porto). Therefore, it was wrongly assumed that the city was called "Oporto". The famous port wine is therefore after the port, from where it was exclusively finished and shipped for a long time, and not according to the area of origin or the DOC area Douro (full name is Porto e Douro) named. Porto has been an important trading center since the Middle Ages, with a long-established merchant community. Built in 1790 by British port wine dealers, the famous Factory House is still used as a men's club and meeting place for the remaining British trading companies.

Porto - Douro river and city in the background

However, the actual Port wine-growing area begins only a hundred kilometers from the city upstream and extends another hundred kilometers to the border Spain far to the north. The base wines are still being finished in the wineries of the producers in the Douro Valley. The bulk is then transported to the Porto suburb of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank of the river. In the past there were special boats for that purpose rabelos in use. Only there are the wines in the cellars on the northern slope and in the Lodges (Warehouses) of the numerous Portweinhäuser located here in a long period of maturation and by artful blend to the famous dessert wine. The warehouses are built from the river bank in steps up the mountainside. Until Portugal's entry into the EU in 1986, all port wines in the lodges had to be matured, bottled and delivered. Today, this is allowed throughout the Douro Valley in the Quintas (wineries) itself.

Image: by Nuno Lopes on Pixabay

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