Discover all the secrets of Port Wines


The history of Port wines began in the Douro Valley in the northeast of Portugal.

Back in Roman times, wines of this type were already being produced in the region. It was not until 1675 that the Port designation became truly recognised, taking its name from the famous port city that was already sending these wines to the rest of the world.

In 1756, the region was demarcated and regulated, making it the world’s first Controlled Designation of Origin. The quality of Port thus improved in terms of aromas and subtlety, with the introduction of a strict set of requirements. And in 2001, the Douro Valley was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



A blend of different grape varieties

Port wines are produced from a blend of different grape varieties. It is a requirement that all of the grapes used to produce Port wines be cultivated and harvested in the Douro Valley.

Red grape varieties (used to make Tawny, Ruby and Pink Ports): TOURIGA FRANCA, TOURIGA NACIONAL, TINTA BARROCA, TINTA RORIZ, TINTO CÃO

White grape varieties (used to make White Ports): GOUVEIO, MALVASIA FINA, MOSCATEL GALEGO, RABIGATO, VIOSINHO



It’s the specific wine-making process that gives Port wines their unique flavours

After harvesting, the grapes are pressed, macerated and fermented, before the next stage, called mutage, which gives Port wines their special organoleptic characteristics.

During this critical process, eau-de-vie is added to arrest fermentation, making the wine retain the natural sugar of the grapes. It’s this process that gives Port wines their high alcohol content and great sweetness.



The variation in the types of Ports depends on the variety of grapes and ageing methods used.

Once the wines have been “muted”, they are transported to Vila Nova de Gaia for ageing. Each wine is selected for a specific ageing process: in vats, casks, tuns or bottles. These different methods of ageing help to produce an abundance of styles and broad range of aromas.

The flavour of each Port will therefore depend on the method and length of ageing.



In spite of the countless variations and flavours of Port wines, they can be classified into four key “styles”, in line with their colour: Red Ports (Tawny and Ruby), White Ports and Pink Ports.