The familiar images of Portugal – Mateus Rosé, Port, and Madeira – do no more than hint at the incredible diversity of this wine country. Portugal is now a key exporter of premium – and super–premium–table wines, labels that can compete with the best of Rioja, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. It is a country of endless […]
In the 20th century, it seemed as if the quality revolution had bypassed the vineyards of northeastern Portugal. Remote and mountainous, Trás-os-Montes was forgotten as international hype coalesced around the Douro Valley, Alentejo, and the potent reds of Dão and Bairrada. As a result, very few wines, certainly premium labels, were sent abroad. Instead, Portugal’s […]
Even the most talented publicist would struggle to rebrand Madeira as a fashionable tipple. So we’ll save them the trouble: it isn’t! This venerable fortified wine, made on the island of Madeira for centuries, has less profile and global renown than Port or Sherry. Aside from a niche market in Portugal and select destinations abroad, […]
Time and time again, winegrowers in the Douro manage to confound our expectations. This is the home of Port: Europe’s leading sweet fortified wine. Most consumers, therefore, don’t expect to find anything else when they visit the cellars and quintas of this spectacularly beautiful region. Yet the Douro is no one-trick pony. In addition to […]
Of all Portugal’s great wine icons, the most underrated remains Vinho Verde. Produced on the hills that flank the Minho River, the province accounts for a seventh of the country’s annual wine harvest. Without it, the Portuguese summer tradition of ‘escaping’ to the mountains and beaches would be missing a vital element – quaffable and […]
Even a category as famous as Port can keep a secret or two. Indeed, most people imagine every bottle of this iconic fortified wine is a sweetened concoction of red grapes, sometimes aged for several decades before release. But it’s not true. White Port – the local trade’s aperitif of choice – has also been […]
Now, this is a conundrum. How can one of Europe’s most obscure grape varieties be a Portuguese legend? Cercial, also known as Cerceal, rarely appears on wine labels. Neither does the grape command much attention in sommelier circles: the vast majority of Cercial ‘disappears’ into a well-crafted blend of indigenous Portuguese white varieties. Its global […]
In the 20th century, it took a lot of work to make a case for obscure grape varieties like Bical. As global demand coalesced around familiar wine styles (Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc remains a household name), there was little appetite for the weird and wonderful. And so it must have been sorely tempting for Portuguese growers […]
Portugal has been a late entrant to the world of saline and aromatic white wines. For decades, poor viticulture and outmoded equipment held the nation back – its reputation was solely built around the success of Europe’s greatest fortified wine style: Port. Yet Portuguese winegrowers are making up for lost time with fantastic grape varieties […]
Don’t listen to the naysayers who proclaim that wine is predictable – it is anything but! In the arid, dusty plains of Portugal’s Alentejo region, it should be virtually impossible for winemakers to craft fresh and vibrant white wines brimming with ripe acidity and a cornucopia of tropical fruit. And yet, they somehow manage it. […]
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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).