The terroir of Port wine: Two hundred and sixty years of history

By Paula Silva

When, I decided to work in wine area, as any new learner, I tried to read about specific issues that are important for my research. Being wine the base of my work, one of my bibliographic research targets was Douro Demarcated Region. For my surprise, I did not find any review paper about the region terroir and/or Port wine. The main information about the oldest demarcated and regulated region of the world and about the most famous Portuguese fortified wine was diffuse in books written in Portuguese, some of which very old ones, being inaccessible for most people. Therefore, I decided to write a review paper about terroir of Port wine to tribute the two hundred and sixty years of history of Douro Demarcated Region.

For that I joined 3 motivated students to Bento Amaral, director of technical services in Douro and Porto Wines Institute, and together we boarded on the adventure of collecting most of the existing data about this issue. The final document, just accepted for publication in the Food Chemistry journal, describes Douro Demarcated Region terroir, namely: climate (temperature, precipitation, humidity, and water-balance features), soil, ampelography (the three most important of both red and white wine cultivars for the Port wine production are described), and human activity (vineyard practices, vinification). The effects of this specific terroir on the chemical and sensory attributes of Port wine are then explored. I am very proud to be the responsible for the first review paper that provides an extensive insight regarding different aspects that influence the quality and uniqueness of Port wine. I am sure that this paper will be very important for people that work not only with Port wine but also with Douro wines. The article is available for reading until the 4th of May 2018, for more information please contact me.