Like other classic great winesm Port owes its character to a specific combination of soil, climate and grape variety allied to human skills perfected and refined over many generations.
The environment of the upper Douro Valley, one of the most beautiful of the world's historic wine regions, cannot be exactly replicated and is what make Port unique.
Located in the north east of Portugal, the Douro vineyard area stretches from a point some 70 kms inland from the Atlantic coast as far as the border with Spain. The region contains around 46,000 hectares of vineyard, or less than half of the vineyard area of Bordeaux. The climate is austere, with cold winters and very hot, dry summers which limit yields, producing deep and concentrated wines.
The vines are planted in stony schistose soil on the steep hillsides overlooking the Douro River and its tributaries. The walled terraces of the oldest vineyards are classified as World Heritage and constitute one of the most dramatic man made landscapes. The Douro boasts a wealth of different indigenous grape varieties allowing the vineyard to be closely matched to the hilly terrain, with its variations in aspect and altitude, and to produce wines of exceptional complexity.
Located in the northeast of Portugal, the Douro wine-growing area begins about 70 kilometers the interior of the Atlantic coast and extends to the border with Spain.
The Douro has a wealth of different autochthonous grape varieties, allowing the vineyard to adapt correctly to the mountainous terrain, with its variations in orientation and altitude, in order to produce wines of exceptional complexity.
The vineyard estates of the Douro are known as 'quintas'. Some of the finest are owned by the famous Port houses, such as Fonseca, Taylor's or Croft, but there are also many outstanding private estates. Although the Douro can also produce good dry table wines, it is Port, the most majestic of all fortified wines, that remains the region's vocation and source of its recognition as one of the great wine regions of the world.