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Douro

Listed under Wine Regions in Portugal.

  • Photo of Douro
  • Photo of Douro
  • Photo of Douro
Photo of Douro
Photo by flickr user Rosino
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This is supposed to be one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, with the vines planted theatrically into the rough soil of the mountains in steep, narrow steps or terraces. The climate is hot and dry in the summer and cold and wet in the winter and it doesn’t look like anything could grow here, but the vines, especially the reds, flourish and wine has been produced in this region for the last 2,000 years.

This is Port country, with something like 85,000 small growers crammed into the region every which way, taking the best of the crops and leaving the rest for table wine. More recently this has begun to change and some good soft reds have been produced, but the problem remains that many of the vineyards grow a mish mash of grapes in over 90 varieties, which suits Port production but not quality wine production.

The history of the whole area is tightly linked to wine and port production; the buildings of Porto crowd around the river which was used to transport the Port for storage and there are many ancient port lodges and cellars open to visitors. Douro is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of it’s wine making traditions and the way this has shaped the landscape.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The Douro is beautiful, why is it so expensive compared to other locations in Portugal!

Alto Douro Wine Region

Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and economic evolution.

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

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