Regional, Seasonal, and Delicious: The Wines of Workshop 55

As you may well know from the Workshop 55 Newsletter’s October edition, we’re hosting an incredible Portugese Fiesta on 23 October, presented by Pedro Ribiero of Herdade do ROCIM in Portugal. 

In this blog, we’ll look at the wines of Portugal, what you can expect, and what this region brings you in terms of taste, style, and quality. 

ABOUT THE WINES OF PORTUGAL

Portuguese wines are unique in that there is a marked absence of international grape varieties – like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay – used in their production. The wines are made from over 250 home-grown varieties that are controlled by denomination of their origin, and are licensed for production only in certain areas. 

This graphic from Wines of Portugal, found in the Wine Detective’s Guide to Portugal clearly shows the regions and their varieties

from http://www.winesofportugal.info/

Straight from the Wine Detective’s mouth, we have a wonderful description of the abilities and skills of Portuguese wine-makers: 

“…Portugal has bucked the single varietal trend; its winemakers are highly skilled in the art of blending. Not just grape varieties either; a new generation of winemakers cleverly combine modern and traditional techniques. The result?  A rich kaleidoscope of truly unique flavours, textures and aromas.”

WHAT PORTUGAL PRODUCES

White wines - Portugal - http://www.winesofportugal.info/pagina.php?codNode=18007

White Wines

Portugal produces light, fruity whites in the North-West regions, and full-bodied, higher-alcohol whites in the regions of fuller sun and higher temeperatures.

Rose Wines

There is no set region in Portugal that produces Rose, but the main consumption is centred around seaside areas. All grapes are fair game, and any blend is possible.

Red Wines

Portugal offers light-bodied, tangy, fruity reds from the Atlantic coast, rich, round, full-bodied reds from the hot summers of Alentejo, and Robust red wines from the Douro Valley.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are made in the cooler areas with high acidity, like Távora-Varosa (who DO use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) and Bairrada wineries.

Port Wines

There are three families of port available in Portugal: White (from white grapes an ranges from white to amber in colour), Tawny, and Ruby (both made from red grapes).

Madeira

Madeira has a nutty, slightly-oxidised, and deliberately caramelised quality, from wood-aging in hot environments. It can range from dry to seriously sweet.

Rose Wines of Portugal Image - http://www.winesofportugal.info/pagina.php?codNode=18007

Moscatel

Made from the Muscat grape, this sweet fortified wine is produced in the Douro and Peninsula de Setúbal region. Sold young, it is fruity, but with age it develops nuttier, figgy flavours.

All information on these Portuguese wines is referenced from the Wines of Portugal Styles List. Visit this page for more on the flavours, recommendations and pairings of these wines. 

THE EVENT: PORTUGUESE FIESTA

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