Port is a fortified wine, arguably the greatest of all fortified wines, one of the truly iconic wines of the world alongside the likes of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, to name a few. Fortified wines are made by adding a proportion of grape spirit or, brandy, to interrupt the fermentation process, hence keeping the residual sugar of the grape. Port is produced exclusively in the mountainous vineyards of the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, the first vineyard area in the world to be legally demarcated in 1756. In a class of its own, Port owes its distinctive character to a unique association of climate, soil, grape varieties, and winemaking expertise that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Port has a variety of different styles, each with its own characteristics flavors, ideal serving suggestions, and food pairings.
The Douro wine region is a landmark in Portuguese viticulture and an international reference for quality for wine enthusiasts. Its continental climate has cold winters, dry summers, and schist soils. DOC Douro wines must necessarily come from the demarcated Douro region, as well as the Port Wine. They are then approved by the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto, i.p.) for trade and can be classified into three distinct levels: Level 1 - Colheita, Level 2 - Reserva, and Level 3 - Grande Reserva.
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