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Ruby (Port Wine)

A variant of the port wine; look there.

World famous dessert wine from Portugal as "Vinho do Porto" or simply "Porto" not according to its area of origin Douro is named, but after the port city postage from where it is shipped. At the origin were the Englishman in connection with their trade wars with France involved. In the 17th century, the import of French wines was for a while England prohibited and then charged with high duties. This led to a bottleneck in the supply. In 1678, a Liverpool wine merchant sent his two sons to Viano do Castello, near the city of Porto, to buy wine. In Lamego they came to a convent where the abbot offered them a wine that they loved. The clergyman told them the secret of why this wine was so pleasantly sweet and soft, namely by pouring with brandy, that is Spriten in the fermentation, Then the two bought up the entire stock, sent the cargo to England and the triumphal procession of port wine, initially referred to as "Red Portugal" started.

Decisive for the port wine boom was the completed in 1703 Methuen Treaty (Contract) which provided for tariff concessions for the import of Portuguese wines in England. The former port was almost exclusively intended for export to England, so it is still called "Englishmen Wine" today. At that time, it was still common to add red elderberry juice as a colorant. From the beginning of the 18th century, English, German and Dutch families settled in Porto to market the port. Among them were names that still play a crucial role today, such as Cockburn. Croft. Ferreira. Niepoort. Sandeman. Taylor's as well as the later of Symington acquired companies Dow, Graham and Warre. The British trading houses built in 1790 in Porto das Factory House, which initially serves as a factor store and then from 1811 until today as a men's club and meeting place.

The English actually acquired a monopoly on the marketing. Under the then prime minister Marquês de Pombal (1699-1782), in the area Carcavelos owned a winery, was to protect the authenticity of the port wine in 1756 the area Douro defined within its limits. Only the best vineyards were included. On the approximately 250,000 hectares of land, only about one-eighth is suitable for port grapevines. The area is next to it Chianti to the oldest legally defined wine regions in the world. Pombal took further measures to protect the Port wine. As an important measure to break the English monopoly, he founded the "Real Companhia Velha". He also banned the addition of elderberry juice and fertilizing manure. This did diminish the earnings but increased the quality.

Port Wine Region

The defined border was for two centuries exclusively for the port. The Portuguese name "Vinho do Porto" is from the city postage Derived from the lower course of the Douro. Only in 1979, the DOC classification was extended to "normal" wines, that is opposite the port unsweetened red and white wines. However, the best soil is reserved for the port, which are mainly the most suitable slate soils on mostly terraced slopes. The region is located in northwestern Portugal and includes the valleys of the Douro River and its tributaries to the Spanish border. These waters exert a positive effect on the viticulture or create the condition by formation of valley slopes.

Port wine - map and vineyards

There are three official sub-zones for the port wine area. The Baixa Corgo to the west includes the area north of the Douro between Barqueiros and the west bank of the Corgo and south of the Douro to Armamar. This coolest and wettest zone yields lighter wines. The largest zone "Cima Corgo" (Upper Corgo) is located north and south of the Douro between Baixa Corgo in the west to Cachão da Valeira in the east. The area around the town of Pinhão, which is centrally located here, is considered to be the best, where most of the large port wine houses have their quintas (wineries). The zone "Douro Superior" lies in the east and extends to the Spanish border in the north. This is the smallest and driest area and partly not yet fully used Pioneer country.

On about 33,000 hectares, there are about 30,000 wine growers, whose 80,000 vineyards are classified in a very complex system. The criteria are assessed Tilt (the steeper, the better), exposition, Sea level, microclimate, training system. vine, Planting density, general condition of the vineyard, age of the vines. soil type (Slate, granite, stone share) and earnings,...

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