How Port wine is made, in pictures

 

The Douro Valley in northern Portugal is the home of Port, a famous fortified wine style. The region is one of the most beautiful in the world, with steeply sloped banks rising on either side of the Douro river and its tributaries.

These steep slopes are often trellised so they can be worked safely, but where [...]

How Port wine is made: a film from the 2016 vintage

By Jamie Goode and Treve Ring (Gismondi on Wine)

In mid-September, we visited the Douro Valley in Portugal during harvest. We spent quite a bit of time chatting with the producers. The vibe here was good: most seemed to be in the midst of a successful vintage, and quite happy with the fruit that was coming [...]

Day 2, in Madeira

Francisco Albuquerque and Chris Blandy

Day 2 of our Madeira visit began in the new Blandy’s cellars, which are located near the main Port, just past the airport. They’ve been moving most of their production here from the lodge in Funchal over the last few years simply because it’s much easier to work here, and [...]

In Madeira with Blandy's

I’m in Madeira. It’s my first time on the island. It’s quite a beautiful place.

Funchal

Tasting at Blandy’s wine lodge

The reason? To find out about Madeira wine, with the island’s largest producer, Blandy’s. Day one consisted of a tasting through the current commercially available range of wines, followed by a drive around the island [...]

Lunch with Dirk Niepoort at Trinity, Clapham

Last week we had a wonderful lunch at Trinity Restaurant in Clapham Old Town, with Dirk Niepoort and his wines. Trinity is a great place, and Adam Byatt had prepared a lovely informal sharing menu based on pyrenees kid goat cooked on charcoal. This is the sort of food I love. There was roast goat [...]

Vinhão: red Vinho Verde

I love red Vinho Verde. It’s just so distinctive and different. Usually (but not always) it’s made from a single variety, Vinhão. This has a thick skin, and the result is inky dark, vivid wines. It’s also widely grown in the Douro, where it goes under the name Sousão.

Some people think of it as a [...]

The New Douro Tasting 2016

So, today: the New Douro Tasting at the gritty Vinyl Factory in Soho. I went and tasted widely. I’d just been in the Douro with the Douro Boys, so I didn’t taste their wines here. Instead, I focused on other producers, and found lots to like. It seems that even some Douro table wines that [...]

Four Douro table wines from Poças Junior

Founded in 1918, Poças Júnior is one of the few Portuguese-owned Port companies still in the hands of the original family. Port is still their main focus, accounting for 80% of their revenue, with an emphasis on tawnies. But Douro table wines are an increasing slice of Poças’ business. Their first Douro table wine was [...]

O Gaveto, Porto, a brilliant seafood restaurant

I had one of my meals of the year at O Gaveto in Porto, a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a traditional Portuguese seafood restaurant in Matosinhos, the port area of Porto. It’s run by brothers João and Jose Silva, and the restaurant was started by their father.

The food is superb, and the service fabulous. The [...]

In the Douro: Niepoort

Niepoort’s Quinta do Nápoles

Next stop on the Douro trip: Niepoort.

It was a real pleasure to spend a few days at Quinta do Nápoles with one of my favourite people in the world of wine, Dirk Niepoort. Dirk picks early, so when we visited harvest, this year a little later in the Douro, was well [...]