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.
- The world’s oldest person attributes her age (122 years) to a diet of olive oil, port wine and 1kg of chocolate per week. Doesn't that sound like a diet we could all enjoy.