Today we were travelling along the Douro river to the east. Here an immense wine area spreads from the river into all the valleys to both sides of the Douro.
In this area wine is cultivated since 2000 years and in 1756 it became the world’s first wine region to have a formal demarcation. Since then the vineyards have expanded 20 times.
|Port producer everywhere
When the English were in war with the French in the 17th century, they were short on wine and had to find a different source. They went to Portugal and the Douro valley, but the sensible table wine suffered along the journey over rough sea. The solution was port wine. During the fermentation brandy is added, which leaves more sugar in the wine and alcohol of about 22%. Port wine is typically a sweet red wine often served as a dessert wine. Today about half of the harvest goes into the production of port wine.
We drove through vineyards for at least an hour. Every hill, every corner, every slope no matter how steep was used for wine. A spectacular landscape made by men. But our destination had nothing to do with wine. We were headed to the Côa valley for some rock art, but more on the next post!
|There must be a pot of gold over there!
|Flower of the rainy day