Wines of Portugal

Introducing wines of portugal…

When we think of Portuguese wine, chances are we immediately think of Port – the most famous drink to come out of Portugal. However, there are now a huge amount of fantastic value wines from Portugal, which for some reason remain largely unknown, all waiting to be tasted!

Similar to other countries, Portuguese wine is categorised by distinct quality levels, Vinho or table wine, Vinho Regional and Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) – which are displayed on the label. Using mostly indigenous grape varieties (Portugal has more native grapes per square mile than any other country in the world), Portugal is split into 14 separate wine producing regions. One of Portugal’s great strengths is its diversity. Here we take a look at some of the most popular regions and grapes.

Douro valley

The Douro region in northern Portugal that follows the river of the same name is a captivating landscape of wine producing terraced hills that has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. The further east you travel within the area, the drier the conditions become, producing wines of great depth and richness. Grapes typical of this region include the Touriga Nacional which produces some delicious dark, concentrated wines and the Tinta Roriz – the Portuguese version of Tempranillo – that produces wines with firm fruit flavour profiles.

vinho verde 

Vinho Verde, which translates to green wine, is one the larger wine producing regions located in the north west of the country. Here, the main grape is the increasingly popular Alvarinho (or Albariño) which produces light, refreshing white wines that benefit from the cooling, humid Atlantic and are ideal for the summer months!


Compared to California with low rolling hills, consistently warm temperatures and plenty of hours of sunshine. A highly respected wine region with many progressive wine makers now operating and producing some wonderful wines. Best known for its rich, easy-drinking red wines offering juicy ripe fruit flavours – the Aragonez and Bouschet grapes are great native examples if this sounds like your type of tipple.


One of the oldest established wine regions in Portugal, located to the south of the the Douro Valley. A mountainous region that is home to Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz grapes. The red wines from here tend to be slightly lighter than the neighbouring Douro Valley – the elevation of the vines leads to exposure to long hours of sunshine helping the grapes to ripen, but also allowing the grapes to cool during the evening, helping to preserve acidity. In terms of white wine, keep an eye out for Encuzado – the most common white grape from the region that produces some stunning modern, fresh, crisp wines.


Located along the Atlantic coastline heading north from the city of Lisbon, the Lisboa region is known for it’s variety and production of red, white and rosé wines – with something for every palate. Wines produces on coastal vineyards tend to be light and refreshing, often compared to Vinho Verde wines. In terms of red wines, the main grape types here are Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Alicant Bouschet (that produces lush, fruity reds) while Arinto, Malvasia and Fernão Pires are the most common whites.