The main Douro red grape varieties
Port and DOC Douro wines are made only with native grape varieties. The most widely-used ones are:
These grapes account for a small amount of the region’s vine stock, which is growing rapidly. The grape had virtually become extinct by the 1970's but was brought back by producers who worked vigorously on clones, as well as the grape variety itself. A difficult grape to manage but it can produce the darkest and most concentrated wines: deep, dense and with cast-iron backbone.
This grape is planted at higher altitudes or on cooler north-facing slopes in the Cima Corgo. It is the first to ripen but is susceptible to extreme heat. This grape produces supple, well-structured wines, which frequently have a distinctive rustic, earthy character.
This grape is even more challenging to grow than Touriga Nacional, with small bunches and small yields. It ripens late but needs to be picked at the right time to achieve the delicate balance of alcohol and acidity. This grape has the capacity to produce long-lasting, complex wines.
This grape is also known as Tempranillo in Spain. It produces wines that combine tight, firm fruit with finesse and length.
This is the most widely planted variety. It flourishes on warmer south-facing slopes and gives consistent yields. This grape brings structure, up-front fruit, elegance and oral overtones. The young reds for immediate drinking have cherry and raspberry aromas, and the cellar reds start with notes of black fruit and chocolate, but age to great delicacy and complexity for 20 years or more.