Ports are made in the Douro Valley, where most of the steeply terraced vineyards with schist soil are to be found. The Douro Superior, the hottest section which runs up to the Portuguese border, is today a potential new source for wine. The five most widely used grapes for the production of red Port wine are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão. View our range.
How to make port?
Traditionally grapes are trodden by foot in thigh-deep granite treading tanks known as lagares, in order to achieve gentle but complete extraction of colour and tannin to produce deep wines with good structure. Today, many wineries are using mechanical press and only Premium Ports are made using this technique.
During this process, the yeasts start to convert sugar into alcohol. Once the level of alcohol required by the winemaker is achieved, a neutral grape spirit called aguardente is added to the wine in order to stop the fermentation and keep high level of residual sugar.
Different styles of port
Ruby Port: young port wines barrelled for a short time. They are fruity and ready to drink as soon as they are bottled.
Tawny Port: aged for at least 7 years in oak barrel, producing wines lighter in body and colour than ruby with toffee and nutty aromas. They are made by combining several older port wines together. 10, 20, 30 and 40 years old are the most usual one, the oldest revealing more developed and complex aromas.
Vintage Port: made from the best grapes in a declared year and aged in barrel for two years only, so the wine will continue to mature in the bottle. They need to be decanted.
Late Bottle Vintage Port (LBV): made from a single vintage and aged in barrel for 4-6 years before being bottled.
Colheita Port: single vintage Tawny aged for 7 years minimum in barrel. Most of them are matured longer and can be kept in oak for up to 50 years.
Port’s grape varieties
Touriga Nacional: one of the principal varieties used to make Port, admired for its weight and structure. Also makes table wines in the Douro Valley and the Dão region. Has a dark colour, full tannins and a strong varietal character.
Tinta Roriz: the Portuguese name for Tempranillo.
Tinta Bairrada: a tannic red grape variety with good acidity, also known as ‘Baga’, grown in Portugal’s Bairrada region.
Tinta Barroca: a red variety, grown in the Douro Valley in Portugal. Used as one of the varieties to make Port. Also cultivated in the Western Cape in South Africa.
Touriga Franca: one of the primary varieties used to make Port. Grown in the Douro Valley and the Dão region it is also produces table wines which are full bodied and stylish with rounded tannins.
Davy’s Finest Reserve Port
Croft’s Vintage Port 1985
Dow’s Vintage Port 1997
Graham’s 20 years old Tawny Port
Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port 2004
Taylor’s Vintage Port 1980
Graham’s Vintage Port 2000
Graham’s White Port
Quinta da Silveira 10 Years Old Tawny Port
Ramos Pinto 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Warre’s Otima 10 Years Old Tawny Port
Graham’s 30 Years Old Tawny Port
Graham’s 40 Years Old Tawny Port
Graham’s 10 Years Old Tawny Port – 450cl
El Vino’s Finest Reserve Port
Offley Boa Vista Vintage Port 1983
Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 1970
Graham’s Vintage Port 2000 – Half bottle
Graham’s Vintage Port 2000 – Magnum
Graham’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port – 450cl
Offley Boa Vista Vintage Port 1970
Dow’s Vintage Port 1980
Warre’s Vintage Port 1980
Gould Campbell Vintage Port 1983
Fonseca Crusted Port
Sandeman Vintage Port 1985
Dow’s Vintage Port 1994
Graham’s Vintage Port 1994
Quarles Harris Vintage Port 1994
Fonseca Vintage Port 2000
Quinta de Vesuvio Vintage Port 2000
Quarles Harris Vintage Port 2000
Croft’s Vintage Port 2003
Warre’s Vintage Port 2003
Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port 2004
Dow’s Vintage Port 1985
Fonseca Vintage Port 1994
Warre’s Vintage Port 1994
Ramos Pinto Collector Reserva Port
Ramos Pinto 10 Years Old Tawny Port
Taylor’s Vintage Port 1997
Taylor’s Vintage Port 1994
Croft’s Vintage Port 2000
Dow’s Vintage Port 2000
Fonseca Vintage Port 1992
Fonseca Vintage Port 1997
Graham’s Vintage Port 1997
Graham’s 10 years old Tawny Port – 20cl
Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2012
Graham’s Colheita Tawny Vintage Port 1982 – 4.5l Limited Edition
Cockburn’s Vintage Port 1997
Offley Boa Vista Vintage Port 2000
Delaforce Vintage Port 2000
Delaforce Vintage Port 2003
Graham’s Vintage Port 2003 – Half bottle
Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 1997
Graham’s ‘Ne Oublie’ Very Special & Rare 1882 Port with hand crafted Decanter £POA
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