The Wine Revolution
For Portuguese wine, a new era began in 1986 when Portugal joined the EU. The wine regions were reorganized and a new appellation system was introduced for regional and quality wines. Thanks to extensive Eu subsidies, huge investment was possible in both vineyards and wineries - resulting in a revolutionary improvement in wine quality. Many private estates began to build facilities to make and bottle their own wines, rather than delivering their grapes or wines to co-operatives or large wine companies,
Today, new generations are still taking over family businesses and benefiting from the experience of their predecessors. The difference is that this new generation of winemakers is highly trained, and enjoys a new professional status within the Portuguese wine trade.
Indigenous Grape Varieties
No other country has a range of indigenous grape varieties to match Portugal’s. This huge palatte of different grapes was introduced to Portugal over a long and exciting history of wine-making, traced by archeologists back to the Bronze Age. Tartessians, Phoenicians, Romans all left their winemaking mark here. And centuries of isolation then prevented further exchange with other wine producing countries such as Spain and France. So Portuguese growers concentrated on the fine flavors to be found in their own grape varieties.
Portugal's Most Famous Grapes