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  • Fortified wines

      Fortified wines are wines which have bad extra alcohol added during their production. Sherry is fortified after the juice has fermented to the extent that all the sugar has been used up. In the case of port, fortification takes place during fermentation.

     

    Sherry Fortified Wine

    Sherry Wine SpainSherry is the unique wine made in southwest Spain. Like Champagne, its name is protected by law and may only be applied to the wines made in the ‘Sherry Triangle’ around the town of Jerez.

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    Port Fortified Wine

    Port WinePort is made in various styles in the Douro Vallery, a rugged, yet beautiful and stunning location in northern Portugal. The area was first dermacated in 1756.

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    Madeira Fortified Wine

    Madeira WineMadeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

    Find more Madeira Fortified Wine

    Madeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

    Find more Madeira Fortified Wine

     

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  • Madeira Fortified Wine

    Madeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

     Due to its location, Madeira was once a port of call for sailing ships bound for the Americas. Even today, Nrth America is still an important market. The Madeira vines cling to steep, terraced vineyards in coastal settings at high altitude.

     Since 1993, it has been compulsory for the best Madeiras, labelled sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Malmsey, to be made from a minimum of 85 per cent of the named variety. Those callde seco (dry), meio seco (medium rich) or doce (rich?sweet), are made from the chameleon Tinta Negra Mole grape, which has the knack of imitating the four ‘classic’ varieties.

     Madeira

     

    Manufacture Madeira fortified wine

     Madeira fortified wine can be made in the same method as port (by stopping fermentation) or, to pruce the sweeter wines, by blending in the same manner applied to sherry. The young wine is then put through a process unique to Madeira, called ‘Estufagem’. In the days of sailing as ballast. During the slow voyage to the indies and back, there wine was gradually warmedup abd then cooled down. The character of the wine would change, developing a softness and toffee-like texture. A heated-tank (‘estufas’) system recreates those conditions, by slowing heating and cooling the wines in a hot store. After Estufagem, the wines mature, before being blended, sometimes in a solera system.

     Portugal’s Madeira is a hidden gem of a wine, capable of ageing fantastically. Even when opened, the sweet styles will not really change, allowing the consumer to enjoy the drik over a period of time, if the bottle lasts that long.

    Portugal’s Madeira is a hidden gem of a wine, capable of ageing fantastically. Even when opened, the sweet styles will not really change, allowing the consumer to enjoy the drik over a period of time, if the bottle lasts that long.

     

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  • Port Fortified Wine

    Port fortified wine is made in various styles in the Douro Vallery, a rugged, yet beautiful and stunning location in northern Portugal. The area was first dermacated in 1756. A rich, fortified wine, port is made by stopping the fermentation before it is complete, in order to arrest or keep some residual sugar in the wine. In most cases, maturation takes place in Villa Nova de Gaia, close to the coolness of the mouth of the River Douro and opposite the city of Oporto.

    Port Fortified Wine The steep slopes alongside the River Douro and its tributaries are terraced to accommodate the vines. Labour therefore is still pretty intensive and most of the picking is done by hand. Over forty different grape varieties are grown here, but only five have been identified as ideal for the production of port: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tini Cão. Once the ripe grapes are picked, fermentation will follow in stainless steel tanks, although some ‘quintas’ (vineyards) still tread grapes in ‘lagares’, open-top granite tanks. Ordinary port will often have a long maturation in casks, known as pipes, or in arge wooden vats, whille vintage port will develop for most of its life in bottle.

     

    Styles of Port Fortified wine

    Althoug port is seen as an after-dinner drink or a classic accompaniment to cheese, particuarly Stilton, its breadth of styles means that it cane be suitable with a range of food. A sweet tawny port for instance, works beautifully with a rich pâté.

    WHITE PORT FORTIFIED WINE: made from white grapes. Dry or sweet.

    RUBY FORTIFIED WINE: youthful, spicy, fruity, and with a deep ruby colour.

    VINTAGE CHARACTER FORTIFIED WINE: deeply coloured, full-bodied port around four years of age (blended).

    TAWNY FORTIFIED WINE: aged in wood , tawny coloured, smoth, and with flavours of dried fruits. A blend of grapes from several harvests, an indication of age (10, 20, 30 of 40 years old) will be shown on the label og the best ports.

    COLHEITA FORTIFIED WINE: a single harvest Tawny. At least seven years old, having rich, smooth, comlex ‘Tawny’ characteristics.

    LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE FORTIFIED WINE: port from a good year (not necessarily a ‘declared’ vintage). Matured in wood for five or six years. Accessible, more complex than ruby or vintage character.

    SINGLE QUITA FORTIFIED WINE: single harvest, from an individual vineyard. Maturing in bttle to reveal black fruits and spie on the palate. Throws sediment (crust), so needs decanting.VINTAGE FORTIFIED WINE: single exceptional harvest, which may be declared. Aged for two to three years in wood, then slowly in bottle, for up to three decades. complex, blackberry-like flavours, spicy and powerful in youth. needs decanting.

     

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  • Portugal Wines

    Port

     

    Although the Douro region is one of the most Portuguese of the wine territories, the famous port or port wine as it was once called from the Douro valley is almost entirely due to the inventiveness of the English.

     

    Port or porto derives its name from the harbour town of Porto, the second city of Portugal. Porto is situated close to Vila Nova de Gaia where most port is stored, bottled, and traded.

    Ideal circumstances

    The valley of the Alto-Douro is probably the most picturesque wine area anywhere in the world. The vineyards start about 80 km (50 miles) to the east of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia and they are protected by the 1,400 metre high Marao mountain against the worst influences of a maritime climate.

    The soil is chiefly comprised of shale and folds of crumbled basalt which force the vines to send down long roots in search of nutrients and water. The summers are extremely warm and dry with bitingly cold and very wet winters. To prevent erosion and make it easier to tend the vines, the area is widely terraced. Despite this everything is hard manual work. That these working conditions are difficult is underscored by the fact that only 40,000 hectares of the permitted 250,000 hectares are actually planted with vines.

    The traditional varieties of grape for making white port are Arinto, Boal Cachudo, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, Samarrinho, and Verdelho. Red port is made from a choice that includes Bastardo, Malvasia, Tinto Mourisco, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Periquita, and Tinta Barroca. This wide variety helps in part explain the wide differences between different ports.

    The same exciting ritual takes place in about mid September of each year. Long lines of grape-pickers

    enter the quintas or vineyards to pick the ripe grapes, terrace by terrace. After picking, the grapes are collected in huge baskets to be brought to the press some tens of kilometres away. Today most port-making companies use pneumatic presses but some of the smaller companies still utilise the traditional huge but low granite tubs or lagares, in which the family, pickers, and friends press the grapes with their bare feet or with special shoes. This scene out of folklore is often done to music and attracts scores of tourists.

    During vinification, which nowadays happens in stainless steel tanks, wine alcohol is added during fermentation at the rate of 10 litres per 45 litres of fermenting must. The new port is then transferred to wooden casks and left to rest for several months.

    After this the casks are transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia, where they are stored to mature in enormous cellars or lodges (armazens). More recently some port is now also left in the Douro valley to mature.

     The maturing process takes a minimum of two years. During the maturing in the huge 550 litre casks known as pipas the wine changes colour from purple/red to tan and the immature wine acquires specific character and bouquet.

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  • Rio Douro Wine

     The Rio Douro (golden river) lends its name to the north-eastern part of Portugal. This wine-growing territory has been known for its wines for more than 2,000 years, especially for the very

    special vinho do Porto, which is better known as port or port wine.Whilst port has been made here for centuries it seems as if far more table wines are now also being made in the Douro valley. In recent years indeed there has been more unfortified wine produced than port. The vineyards of the Upper Douro start about 62 miles (100 km inland of the harbour town of Porto. The majority of them are sited on hills of basalt and granite. The climate is fairly dry of the semi-continental type with fairly big temperature ranges between the hot summers and cold winters.

    Good quality red and white wines are produced here, varying in style depending on the variety of grapes used and the wishes of the wine-maker. The choice for white wines is made from Malvasia Pina, Rabigato, Viosinho, Donzelinho, Verdelho, and many others. The red wine grapes are Bastardo, Mourisco Tinto, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Prancisca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinto cao. Although the different types of Douro wine vary widely there has been an enormous leap forward in their quality in recent decades. Douro Branco is a fresh lively and sometimes very aromatic wine with a delicate and refined taste. It is certainly not a heavy wine. This wine must be at least 11 % alcohol and it is required to have aged for at least nine months in the bottle before being sold. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (10- 12°C) .

    Douro Tinto exists in many styles. Some of them are young, fruity, almost playful, while others are intentionally more robust and powerful. This depends on the grapes used, method of vinification, and length of cask maturing that has been undergone. All Douro reds must be at least eighteen months old before they may be sold and contain at least 11 % alcohol. Whichever Douro you may choose, they are always surprisingly good value for money.

     
    The modern style wines are very colourful and fruity.They are velvet smooth, juicy, and very tasty. The traditional style wines are fairly dark, very aromatic, often somewhat rustic with hints of terroir including granite. Drinking temperature is 53.6-57.2°F (12- 14°C ) for the modern-style wines and 57.2- 62.6°F (14-17°C) for the traditional ones.

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