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postage

Second largest city Portugal with around 216,000 inhabitants in the north of the country on the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the river Douro, In England in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city was called "Oporto" because it is common in the Portuguese language to precede the city name with 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 after the area of origin or the DOC area Douro (full name is Porto e Douro). Porto has been an important trading center with long-established merchants since the Middle Ages. The famous one, built by British port wine traders in 1790 Factory house still serves as a men's club and meeting point for the remaining British trading houses.

Porto - Douro river and city in the background

However, the actual port wine growing region only begins upstream a hundred kilometers from the city and extends for another hundred kilometers to the border Spain far north. The base wines are still being completed in the wineries of the producers in the Douro Valley. The majority 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 rabelos in use. Only there are the wines in the cellars on the north slope and in the Lodges (Warehouses) of the numerous port wine houses located here in long maturity and through artistic blending to the famous dessert wine. The warehouses are built in steps from the river bank up the mountain slope. Before Portugal entered the EU in 1986, all port wines in the lodges had to be matured, bottled and delivered. Today this is allowed everywhere in the Douro Valley in the Quintas (wineries) themselves.

Image: by Nuno Lopes from Pixabay

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