Guide to Portuguese Red Wine

Thirty-five years ago, Portugal was overwhelmingly associated with one signature wine style: port. In the eyes of many consumers, fortified wines and gallons of sun-kissed Mateus rosé were the totals of the nation’s viticultural output; many bottles were enjoyed on vacation, only to be quickly forgotten. Isolated behind Spain on the Atlantic fringe, collectors and […]

Weird and wonderful: Sousão/Vinhão

There is no paucity of esoteric and obscure red grapes in Portugal. On the contrary, it is a fundamental part of the country’s massive appeal; you come to the Iberian Peninsula to taste wines you won’t find anywhere else. Portugal is a land of original flavors and difficult-to-pronounce grape varieties. There are few destinations quite […]

Pride and perseverance: Tinta Amarela

First, let’s deal with the drawbacks: Tinta Amarela is not famous, iconic, or world-renowned. Indeed, few wine lovers outside of Portugal have even heard of this native red grape. To put it mildly, growing is also extremely difficult, requiring constant care and attention throughout the season. Viticulturally, it is far more temperamental than Touriga Nacional, […]

A national landmark: Touriga Nacional

Every wine-producing nation requires a flagship grape variety. It is a signature style to call its own, used to heighten awareness and recognition across international markets. So new Zealand has Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – Argentina has Mendoza Malbec. But what about Portugal, the land of endless indigenous varieties and esoteric gems? Does this country offer […]

A minor giant: Tinta Cão

The attention and reverence directed towards Tinta Cão can sometimes baffle newcomers to Portugal’s wine scene. The vine crops at very low yields, ensuring that economically-led growers cannot afford to get involved with the variety. It also lacks the depth of color of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional – as a very late-ripening grape, producers […]

A shared destiny: Aragonês

We cannot overestimate the role that Aragonês (Tempranillo) has played in the development of Spain’s burgeoning wine industry. Its approachable tannins, silky texture, and strawberry fruit profile have won over oenophiles from London to San Francisco. It was largely responsible for putting Spain on the international red wine map in the 20th century. It is universally adored […]

A port legend: Tinta Barroca

Sauternes and the Douro Valley have more in common than first appear. Despite the differences in terroir and climate, these two iconic regions are committed to broadening their appeal. Indeed, both Sauternes and the Douro Valley have diversified their offerings of late, producing a greater volume of dry styles. The catalyst for this paradigm shift […]

Bastardo’s hidden glory

Although the name is undeniably colorful, Bastardo is not a red grape to be dismissed as ‘light-weight’ or trivial. On the contrary, it has been grown in western Europe for centuries, producing deeply colored wines that offer both finesse and rich concentration. After finding its way to Portugal via Spain, Bastardo became an integral part […]

Periquita’s voyage of discovery

Periquita, or Castelão as it’s also known, is one of Portugal’s most obscure red grape varieties. It is part of a stubborn set of traditions, prioritizing local grapes over imports. This was once considered a disadvantage, yet wine lovers from all corners of the globe are increasingly drawn to Portugal’s authenticity, desperate to experience new […]

Baga’s great revival

The Iberian Peninsula offers a treasure trove of indigenous grape varieties and unique wine styles. Among the most exciting is Baga, the signature red grape of the Bairrada region in north-central Portugal. Think of it as the country’s answer to Nebbiolo – running the gamut from divine nectar to tannic dross. In its youth, poor […]

A noble cross: Alicante Bouschet

The term ‘cross’ can occasionally invoke negative connotations in the wine trade. It implies something artificial, unnatural, and perhaps even unauthentic. Nothing could be further from the truth; vine crossings have occurred throughout history and are responsible for such noble grape varieties as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Read more about Portuguese Red Wine You […]

Insiders Guide to visiting Porto

Best Things to See & Do in Porto Porto is one of Europe’s most vibrant and fascinating cities. While very much “on the radar” for food and wine lovers and culture vultures, Porto is thankfully not saturated with mass tourism, and it remains an absolute gem and a pleasure to visit. The problem? So much […]

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Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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