If there was one wine style synonymous with Portugal, it would be Port. The sweet, creamy and fruit-forward wine has been a personal favorite of mine since our first visit to Oporto not four years ago. Unable to escape the fame for their fortified wines, Portugal’s table wines continually hid the shadows, until the dawn of the 1990s, when they finally gained worldwide notoriety for both their quality and their distinctive grape varietals.
Because Portugal is not only famous for Port, but also for having the oldest demarcated wine appellation in the world – the Douro. With the intent to ensure the quality of their wine and guarantee each wine’s validity, origin, and style, Portugal has gone out of its way to create strictly and established laws and regulations.
Therefore, what you will see on the front of a Portuguese label is information that is required by the governing councils assuring authenticity and quality from every wine within each demarcated region.
Every demarcated region has its own Comisao Vitivinicola to control the quality of the wines from cultivation to the preparation of vineyards.
On the front of the Bottle
1. Adega: The name of the winery, typically followed by their address.
2. An appellation of Origin: The region where the grapes were grown.
3. Authenticity Seal: The stamp of validity awarded by the DO.
4. Quality Classification: The categorization of Portuguese wines.
5. Quinta: Also the name of the winery but meaning a farm
6. Varietal: The grape used to make the wine.
7. Vintage: The year the wine was made.
Wines in Portugal are classified in one of six distinct categories:
- Vinho de Mesa = Basic table wines.
- VR (Vinho Regional) = Regional wines that do not adhere to the same strict regulations as IPR or DOC classified wines.
- IPR or VQPRD (Indicacao de Provenienca Reglamentada) = Wines from newer regions which are candidates for DOC status. Although created in 1990 to designate wines of “Intermediate” quality, this classification is not typically used anymore.
- DOC (Vinho de Calidad) = Quality wine produced in a Geographically limited region subject to strict regulations.
- CVR = Wines produced in a specific region from at least 85% of locally grown grapes.
- VEQPRD = Sparkling Wine produced in a demarcated region.
To know more about Portuguese wine and ask your questions to our guests, join our live “BXO Wine talks” at 7 pm!
You can also order our wine of the week on our app and use the coupon code TAS319 to have a discount.