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One of the highlights when you visit Portugal is - of course- port!
Here are seven fun facts you might not have known about this digestif.
Originally created for British sailors during the end of the 1600s, large amounts of wine are stored in big barrels and left in caves to age.
Port is created and exclusively produced in Douro region, one of Portugal's 14 wine regions. Portuguese wines still carry the label “Vinho do Porto Garantia” highlighting their authenticity with a myriad of strict rules governing the use of this label.
Considered the oldest demarcated (defined) wine region in the world, this region was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2001.
Port, a fortified wine, is produced by adding aguardente (sometimes referred to simply as “brandy”) to red wine. Doing this does a few things to the Port. This not only increases the alcohol content to about 20% but it also preserves more of the natural sugars from the grapes by stopping the fermentation process.
There are many different categories of Port, but most will fall under four main styles: Ruby, Tawny, White and Rosé. Its quality and complexity varies according to: the time spent aging, how it's aged (barrel or bottle) and the grapes used to make it.
Many Port producers pride themselves on using wine-making processes that are the same today as they were nearly 400 years ago. Today, some vintage port is still being made using grapes crushed by foot.
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