Port Wine is a natural and fortified wine, produced exclusively from grapes from the distinct region of Douro, in the north of Portugal about 100 km east of the city of Porto.
Although produced with Douro grapes and stored in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, this alcoholic beverage was known as “port wine” from the second half of the 17th century because it was exported to the whole world from this city.
The “discovery” of Port wine is controversial. One of the versions, defended by the producers of England, refers that the origin dated from century XVII when the British merchants added brandy to the wine of the Douro region to avoid that it stilled. But the process that characterised its attainment might have been known well before the beginning of trade with the English. Already at the time of the Discoveries, the wine was stored in this way to conserve a maximum of time during the trips. The fundamental difference lies in the area of production and the varieties used, now protected.
Croft was among the first to export port wine, followed by other English and Scottish companies.
What makes Port wine different from other wines, besides the unique climate, is the fact that wine fermentation is not complete, being stopped at an initial stage (two or three days after beginning), by the addition of a brandy neutral wine (with about 77º alcohol). The Port wine is a naturally sweet wine (since the natural sugar of the grapes does not turn entirely into alcohol) and stronger than the other wines (between 19º and 22 °).
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