Culture: An Exploration of Portugal's Under-the-Radar Wines | Wine Enthusiast
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About Portugal

While the country may be better known for its fortified wines, the table wines of Portugal are gaining much favor from consumers worldwide. From the cool, maritime-influenced Vinho Verde region to the hotter, continental Douro Valley, the climates and wines produced across the regions of Portugal are quite disparate. Northern Portugal is where you will find the popular DOPs of Vinho Verde, Douro and Dão. The tropical-scented and sometimes effervescent whites of Vinho Verde—made from local grape varieties including Alvarhino, Trajadura and Loureiro—are refreshing and crisp. While Vinho Verde is a summertime favorite, the DOPs of Douro and Porto are the most noted overall. Great table wines and fortified wines are produced in these regions using a variety of indigenous grapes, such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Cão. Bold in fruit flavors, these wines combine an intricate structure with silky finesse. As with the wines from Duoro, the wines of the Dão DOP use similar varieties and ultimately create wines with delicate red fruit flavors, soft tannins and an age worthy longevity. In southern Portugal, Tejo and Alentejo are the two prime regions. Using the local Aragonez and Castelão varieties as well as international favorites like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, full-bodied, deeply pigmented wines are the most common. For a detailed list of reviewed wines from all over Portugal, be sure to check out our Portugal Wine Guide.

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