A Tour Down the Douro 2016

"Portugal is arguably the most exciting wine place on the planet today." Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator

Portugal has withstood a tumultuous history, surviving invasions by the Romans, Celts, Spanish, French and Moors and internally was the scene of Europe's longest lasting dictator - Salazar. They have emerged as an independent nation with a clear identity, an incredible array of wines, an intriguing culture and they are on the cusp of worldwide discovery.

I spent over 3 weeks in Portugal last year and found the landscape of table wines to be extraordinary. The economic landscape is not to be desired, yet it is not holding back young and enthusiastic growers and winemakers giving it a real go. There is a steady increase of growers moving away from selling their fruit to the big port houses and creating their own independent labels, a risky venture where there is no easy channel to tap into to sell their wines abroad.

Portugal is the birth place of 2 of the world's most famous wine styles - Port and Madeira. It is home to one of the world's oldest demarcated wine regions - the Douro in 1756. With the combination of 29 DOC regions in an area smaller than Victoria, more than 300 varieties in current usage and the amazing variation in altitude, soil types and weather the potential of Portugal is almost limitless.

Michael Wren of Grande Vindima Wines will be in store to walk you through the line-up. Michael is a graduate in Oenology from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, and has worked for the last 10 years in Portugal for Esporao, who are listed in Wines & Spirits magazines Top 100 Wineries of the World. His thorough portfolio of Portuguese wines is a serious reference for us here at PWS.