Porto Wine

Porto (or Oporto, or Port) is Portugal’s second largest city, located at the mouth of the Douro, the gateway to wine country. It is the center of Portuguese shipbuilding and trade, with a history that dates back to the Roman occupation, through the Moorish settlement of the area, and into a strong relationship with England, beginning in the 14th century and the marriage of John I of Portugal to Philippa of Lancaster (daughter of John of Gaunt). 

The English fascination with Portuguese wine began in the 14th century when their relationship with France became shaky and they had far less access to quality French wines. Their new friends, the Portuguese, had an abundance of wine in the Douro, but the English found it to be much more crude compared to what they were used to. So they began to add brandy to the wine to preserve it for shipment back to England, and thus, in a sense, the first Ports were born. But it wasn’t until the 17th or 18th century that this process became more refined Read more »

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