Porto: l'oro rosso del Douro all'Enoteca Alessi

Porto: l'oro rosso del Douro all'Enoteca Alessi

Porto: l'oro rosso del Douro all'Enoteca Alessi






Porto: the fortified wine from grapes grown in the Douro region, Portugal.

Port history: the English presence

The Port wine takes its name after the city of Porto where the final maturation takes place, before the bottling.

The origins of Port

It was already produced by the mid-seventeenth Century, and it was sold to English merchants who preferred to buy this cheap Portuguese wine while not to enrich their traditional enemy, France.

As the wine had to face a difficult trip by ship, the Port producers began to add alcohol to the partially fermented must, to make the wine stronger and more resistant to the climatic adversities it underwent on the ships.

The added alcohol was from Portuguese, local Brandy .

This addition not only guaranteed the integrity of the product, but increased its quality, making the wine richer, with a sweet and intense aftertaste, on the way of becoming one of the favorite wines of the English Royal House.

The second phase

In the eighteenth Century, the flourishing market for this wine led the English merchants to move to Portugal and produce their own Port wine.
More precisely, they found in Vila Nova de Gaia, facing Porto, the perfect place to mature wines in barrels.

1775 saw the production of the first bottles of "English" Port, with characteristics similar to the Porto wine we can enjoy nowadays.


Nowadays the official production areas are: Baixa Corgo, Cima Corgo, Douro Superior.

The Quintas (estates) must follow the IVP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto) protocol.
The allowed (generally red) grapes are: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca.


After the mashing, the grapes are rested in the lagares, and alcohol is added to stop the fermentation.
After a small amount of time in barrels for stabilization, the wine is brought to Vila Nova de Gaia in spring.

There the producer will choose, after the wine quality, which ageing style will be used: oxidative (aging in casks) or reductive (aging in bottle).

Port varieties: the young ones

Ruby: from red grapes of different vintage, aged for 3 years in casks. Mainly sweet and fruity aroma; lively ruby color.

Tawny: as the Ruby, a blend of red grapes of different vintage but, after the 3 years of cask ageing, it matures in smaller barrels getting a more orange-ish colour and toasted and spicy taste hints, tending to dried fruit.

White: only from white wine varieties of different vintage. More elegant but less complex than a red wine.

Pink: after the rose - style winemaking of red grapes; sweet and fruity, great in cocktails.

Port varieties: the aged ones

Port Reserve: the Reserve label identifies a minimum aging of 7 years; Tawny, Ruby and White can be "Reserve" Port.

Aged Tawny: Tawny, aged up to 40 years (10, 20, 30, 40 anos).

Port Colheita: single vintage, at least 7 years of aging.

Porto Vintage: the aged Porto par excellence, a blend from different quintas after a great vintage.

after a short aging in casks, a long refinement in bottle, even more than 20 years bringing to an aged wine with the bright color of a "young" one, matched by an exceptional and complex range of aromas.

Single Quinta Vintage: single vintage and single quinta, as per label.
Long reductive aging.

Late Bottled Vintage: a step behind the Signle Quinta, aged in casks for at least 4 year.

See you in Via delle Oche with our wide selection of Port wine!