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Yuma Online Art Gallery, art by deb created the painting Porto Velho Porto Velho means old port in Portugese.


Information about Port Wine

Port wine traditionally comes from the Douro Valley in beautiful Northern Portugal. The wineries are called Quintas” and they line the terraced hills rising up from the Douro river, east of Oporto nearly reaching the border of Spain. The name “Port Wine” is protected by the Appellation system (Denomination of Origin), just as “Champagne” can only be placed on a bottle if it comes from the Champagne region of France. There are wine regions in the world producing Port style wines (South Africa, California and Australia in particular), but they cannot use the name.

This world famous fortified port wine first became popular when the English were at war with France during the Peninsular campaigns, and they stopped drinking French wines. This period in history gave the Portuguese a chance to launch their wines into the important British market. In the 18th century, however, the prices dropped due to market forces and the British accused the Portuguese of “doctoring” their wine. In order to protect their interests the port farmers created an appellation system called Companhia Geral dos Vinhos do Alto Douro. This group was established by the Royal Charter in 1756. It began as a method of ensuring quality to balance production and trade as well as equalizing prices.

In 1850 Phylloxera and oidium destroyed most of the wine vineyards in the previously demarcated regions. In 1865, a new trading administration began to open up the demarcation regions and to expand to the Upper Douro. Before the end of the century, new methods of viticulture and vinification were implemented- planting techniques, and regional selections for grafting, fertilizers and pest control use, as well as much more controlled wine making procedures. With steep terraced hills, this region proved to be a rewarding challenge for British and Irish entrepreneurs in regards to wine production. In order to survive the long ocean travel, Brandy was added to wine to give them longer shelf life and resist the temperature changes. Brandy is added to all port wine (20% of total volume) elongating shelf life and the fermentation process within the bottle. From this technique grew the new category of fortified wine, and Port is among the most famous.

Source: http://cellartastings.com/wine/history-port-wines

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