Portugal has come a long way since Mateus Rose. Over the past few centuries it has developed an identity of diverse and exciting wines. This is a strong identity: with native grape varieties still playing an essential role in wine production, especially in Port including varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão and Tinta Roriz.
Historically, the success of Port may be down to fluke. The UK were one of the largest importers of Portuguese wines in the 1700’s as the English were deprived of wine during the war with France. To ensure the wine would survive the long voyages to the UK it was topped up with sugar and highly rectified grape spirit as a preserving agent. As you can imagine, this cocktail of high alcohol and sweet, full bodied wine became an instant success!
Today we see some of the oldest established wine estates belonging to Portugal, all with unique family histories and stories to tell. Our exclusive producer has been making intensely flavoured ports since the 12th Century monastery of Senhora do Convento, Portugal for the past nine centuries. This beautiful estate overlooks 27 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Douro with scenery that will leave you breathless.
Legend is told of the ghost of a young woman that remain within the thick stone walls of the property. She was the beautiful daughter of an emir, and she fell in love with the son of a king who had entered the city to fight the Islamic people. When her father discovered her treachery he murdered his daughter. Today, her body remains in a small chapel and whispers of a woman dressed in white lace are still heard, lending intrigue to this hauntingly beautiful property.
2015 has just been announced as a fantastic year for Port so we expect a sensational Vintage Port from our exclusive producer, Senora do Covento. Watch this space…
To discover our full range of Portuguese wines click here.