Port is a fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. It takes its name from the city of Porto, which is located at the mouth of the Rio Douro, or River of Gold. Port is typically a sweet red wine, however there are semi-dry and white varieties, too.
It came about somewhat by accident in the late 17th century, when the British began shipping thousands of casks of wine from the Douro valley to Britain. In order to endure the long journey, the wine was fortified with brandy to stop the fermentation process, thus producing a naturally sweet wine that traveled well.
No visit to Porto would be complete without a tour of one or more of the port wine lodges. Cross the river to Vila Nova de Gaia where you will find many lodges, and a number of them are open to the public. Enjoy the tastings, learn how port is made and stored, and finish off the visit with a fine meal at one of the lodges.
Here are a few lodges you may want to visit – click on the name to visit their website:
For more information on the port wine lodges, click here to visit the website of the Association of Port Wine Companies (AEVP).
Photo credit: © Associação das Empresas de Vinho do Porto
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