“The world’s greatest wine region? If you’re thinking Bordeaux, Burgundy or Napa Valley, it may be time to think again” – this is how a recent article on Portuguese wine by USA Today starts off.
Entitled ‘Portugal is shaking up the wine world’, the article focuses on the growing popularity of Portuguese wine in the international scene, especially in the Douro region.
Just last year, “wines from Douro Valley claimed three of the top four places in Wine Spectator’s top 100 ranking – including the no. 1 spot awarded to Dow’s 2011 Vintage Port,” the American publication wrote.
It also points out that while Douro is “best known for its port”, the region’s table wines are also “generating excitement in the wine world”.
Paul Symington, one of the region’s leading wine producers, told the newspaper: “(Douro) has been famous for producing extraordinary ports for over 300 years and it’s got a unique beauty all of its own.”
He added: “There are many superlatives that you can apply to the Douro. Many of us argue it’s the most beautiful wine-growing area in the world.”
USA Today explains that although the Douro is one of the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions, dating back to 1756, the international reputation of its table wines only began to take off “in the 1990s, when producers started to move away from the centuries-old reliance on port wine to turn out quality dry reds and whites”.
The American publication also says that “beyond its great wine-making conditions, the region is uniquely beautiful” and was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2011.