Long famous as the source of port wine, the Douro is now also renowned for its fine, rich unfortified wines, both red and white.
Steep slopes shelve deep into the River Douro. Hills stretch off into the horizon, and narrow roads wind around the hillsides. Vine terraces bask in the sun, their soil pure schist and granite. This wild and beautiful part of northern Portugal offers extraordinarily good conditions for wine grapes, though life is not easy for Douro winegrowers. Roots force down between layers of rock seeking out the limited water, while the schist absorbs and then radiates heat.
For centuries, Douro growers have been supplying an eager world with Port. Now wine experts the world over recognize that the Douro region also offers ideal conditions for making unfortified wines of the highest quality, both red and white. Producers here are crafting stunning and highly distinctive wines that rank amongst Portugal’s most intense and complex. There are separate DOCs for unfortified wine and for Port in the Douro, although geographically both lie within the same outer boundaries