The history of wine and vine in Portugal dates back to the 7th century BC when the Greeks planted the first vines in the Iberian Peninsula. It was the Romans who then structured the vineyards.
During the period of domination of the Moors during 400 years (700 to 1100), the cultivation of vineyards was neglected. During the reconquest of the territory up to and including Middle Ages, various kings took great care to develop protected areas for cultivation. Periods of expansion were also supported by powerful families, and numerous religious orders, which cultivated grapes within their monasteries and produced their own wines.
The first informal exports took place towards 1380, with England. Initially wine from the Minho region, the cradle of the Vinho Verde, was exported, then followed by the zone of the Douro.
In 1756, the Marquis de Pombal created the first delimited wine region in the world, the Douro region, where the vines that will eventually give birth to Port wine, were cultivated. Another sad page in the history of Portugese wine is turned in 1862: the country is struck by filoxera which kills off a good part of the vines, in a plague that lasts until 1895.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the filoxera is brought under control and new delimited wine regions are created, such as the Dão, Colares, Carcavelos, Moscatel de Sébutal.
Portugal is a country that prides itself on indigenous grape varieties, including the ‘big names’ of the national grapes: Touriga Francesa, Arinto, Sercial, Castelão, Periquita and Trincadeira. The diversity that these varieties encompass is enormous and grapes, both in white and red wine, placing Portugal on a pedestal in terms of original and recognised wine production.
Discover or learn more about Portuguese wine during this short wine trip from Lisbon to Porto in the Douro Valley.
Discover the best kept secrets of red and white Portuguese wines: blending, biodynamic winemaking, organic certified wine, and of course the talismanic Port.
A wine tourism open itinerary, to help you discover the major wine regions of Portugal. The days are punctuated with visits and tastings and advice on the best restaurants at each stop.
As wine is a symbole of “Bon vivre”, we have selected accommodation of exceptional quality, service or originality.
Porto is the great ambassador of Portuguese wines. The grape varieties planted in the Douro region are unique because they are the only vines that are able to handle the climate. As the local saying goes: “nine months of winter and three of hell”.
The quality of this specially bred wine is governed by the IVDP (Institute of Douro and Port Wine) created in 1933, heir to the “Institucao da Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro” founded in 1756 by the Marquis de Pombal.
The cellars where the Port wine is aged are located in Vila Nova de Gaia (facing the city of Porto), which since 1926 are the only warehouses for Port wines. Today some wineries have also opened in the Douro region.
Terra Lusitania is your Destination Management Company, tailor-made specialist for Portugal, Azores and Madeira. Discover Terra Lusitania travel designers team, based in Lisbon, your experts in crafting holidays in Portugal, Azores and Madeira. Let's go on an adventure in the field ! Always on the lookout for new trends and products, our team shares with you their direct field experience!