Port wine is produced in the Demarcated Region of Douro, a wine region that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2001. The peculiar conditions in which its production, stemming from natural and human factors, make Port wine a unique product, as it is not possible to be grown in other soils.
There is no consensus as to the historic origin of Port wine. If, on one hand, there are some references to its discovery by English merchants in the 17th century, on the other hand, there are records that already during the Age of Discoveries dos (15th and 16th century) there were storing facilities for this wine to be consumed during trips to India and Americas.
The diversity of Port wines has its origins in the different conditions to which the vineyards are exposed to, since the locations for growing the grapes vary, according to the region specific geography.
Port Wine stands out from ordinary wines due to its unique characteristics: an enormous variety of types that surprise us with the
wealth and intensity of their incomparable aromas, a highly persistent aroma and flavour, a high alcohol content (usually between 19 and 22% vol.), a vast range of degrees of sweetness and a assortment of colours. The winemaking procedures, based on traditional methods, include stopping the fermentation of the must by adding grape brandy, making up lots of wine and ageing the wine.
In the universe of Port Wine families, there are two major groups: the wines without harvest date (Ruby, Tawny, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and over 40 years) and the wines with harvest date (Vintage, LBV and Colheita).
The Visitors Centers to the Port Wine Cellars allows the visitor to make a tour led by a professional team of guides that shows all the production, conservation and aging process of the product. The visit is followed by wine tasting.
Among existing Visitors Centers, the most known are Sandeman´s, brand established since 1790,and Cálem´s, brand established in 1859. Both brands have received several awards in international competitions. Among these awards we can highlight the Best of Wine Tourism, attributed by Great Wine Capitals, for the Sandeman brand, and the trophy for Best Port Wine (Porto Cálem Vintage 2000) for the Cálem brand, in the International Wine & Spirit Competition.
As part of the Social Program we will organize two tours to the Port Wine Cellars, both will take about one hour and include wine tasting after the end of the tour:
18th July (Thursday) 18.30 - Calém Port Wine Cellar
20th July (Saturday) 10.00 - Sandeman Port Wine Cellar