Portugal has a long history and tradition of wine production.
Since 2000 B C, successive generations have planted and cared for vineyards, nurturing more than 250 indigenous grape varieties.
Even today, international grape varieties are rare to find. Portugal has 28 well-defined appellations, of which the best known are Douro Valley (port wines), Vinho verde, Bairrada, Dao, Peninsula of Setubal, Alentejo, and Madeira.
For white wines, alvarinho (albarino in Spain), arinto, encruzado, fernao pires, and muscato and blends thereof are popular. Preferred red grapes are – baga, castelao, trincadeira, aragonez( aka tinta roriz, or tempranillo), touriga franca and touriga nacional.
Syrah, alicante bouchet, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc are now being planted, albeit in small quantities, and mostly used for blending.
Portugal is a relatively small country, yet a little less than 220 000 hectares of vineyards yield of 6.2 million hectolitres of wines. Port and Madeira were popularized by English merchants, and sold all over the world. Now, table wines are gaining popularity, especially low alcohol, aromatic easy-drinking wines from Dao and Vinho Verde.
Fortified Port wines from the Douro Valley once dominated but constantly increasing demand for table wines have forced many estates to speed up their table wine plantings.
In 2017, 28 wineries poured more than 100 of their wines to an eager trade and media members in Toronto.
I tasted 78 and recommend the following
Opta Bao, 2016, Agricola Boas Quintas, Dao
White, 2016, Quinta da Giesta, Dao
White, 2016, Paite di Ouro, Dao
Malvasia Fina, 2016, Quinta do Maias
Encruzado, 2015, Quinta do Roques
Branco, 2015, Quinta do Penedo, Dao
Grande Reserva, 2013, Quinta do Foz, Douro Valley
Cortes de Cima Reserva , 2012,
Terroir Wine Imports,Toronto
Premium Red, Monte da Ravasqueira, Alentejo
Douro Seleccion, 2014, Massias
Quinta do Valdoeiro, 2012, Messias, Bairrada
Periquita Reserva 2014, Jose Maria da Fonseca
Reserva Tinto, 2013, Herdade de Mingora, Alentejo
Touriga Nacional, 2011, Mingora, Alentejo
Reserva, 2011, Quinta dos Murchas, Douro
DFA Signature, 2014, Douro Family Estates
Douro, 2015, Prazo de Roriz, Symington Group, Douro
Escolha do Enologos, Herdade Sao Miguel, Alentejo
Senhora do Convento
20-Year Old Tawny, Quinta da Devesa
30-Year-Old White Tawny, Quinta da Devesa
LBV, 2011, Graham
20-Year-Old Tawny, Graham
40 Year-Old-Tawny Sandeman