Welcome to Portuguese Vinhos, Muito Prazer.
We are a family run business of wine advocates that specialise in importation and supply of Portuguese in D.O.C (Denominaca de Origem) and IPR (indicacao Proveniencia Regulamentada) Wine.
Our journey started some 10 years ago learning about the pedigree and history of this much forgotten wine country with its stunning variety of grapes and regions, while the rest of Europe and the world are obsessed with Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet , Zinfandel and Pinot Grigio. Portugal delights in the north, green wines from Vinhos Verde with varieties such Alvarhino, Loureiro through to the Dao region in the centre with its smooth reds with epic varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Encruzado, Tinto–Roriz (Tempranello in Spain) and onto Biarrada on the Atlantic coast which makes some stunning sparkling wines based around the Champagne method.
A history of Friendship and wine
The Roots of the Wine Trade in Portugal can be traced back to the Phoenicians, Romans and Moors (although not making wines themselves, were happy to share in the profits)
Portugal has always been a trading nation, developing an independent island mindset where at the same time attached to their continental neighbors, which is probably why the British and Portuguese have had close such links for over 600 years, in fact our oldest allies!
From the beginning of the 16th century Portugal had a monopoly over spices which in turn encouraged British traders to visit both Lisbon and Porto and consequently raised the profile of Portuguese wines, and thus a trade was born.
One of the first wines to be exported was called Osey a dessert style wine probably from the Algarve, Anglo- Portuguese links were further sealed by the Treaty of Windsor which pledged friendship between the two countries, in 1386, with the treaty being celebrated in London and Lisbon in 1986, this treaty has been invoked quite a few times once in 1807 against The French and then again in World War 2, another famous Treaty was Methuen in 1703 , this again helped to cement links between the two nations
Since then the wine trade in Portugal has indeed had its ups and downs yet still was one of the first countries in the world to be Demarcated in 1756. (have is own wine controlled area) 200 year before the French! Portugal was under a dictatorship until around 1977 where after the death of the Dictator Salazar in 1970 took steps to be a part of Europe.
In 1986 Portugal joined the European Community up to this point all the grapes produced where going straight to The Co-Operatives, this was the opportunity when all those family run business started to flourish, it was at this point they were able to start blending and experimenting with new wine making methods and to learn from wine making around the world.
So Why drink Portuguese wines?
This is easy, in a wine world full of mediocrity (Melots, Cab Savs, and chardonnays) people are looking for something different and in a country with over 250 grape varieties it’s easy to find a wine which is bound to impress, all the Portuguese wines are food wines, what do I mean by this?, well they are meant to be drunk with food of course, finding the perfect match between food and wine is a very pleasant experience.
Remember always like what you drink and drink what you like!
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
- Portugal is home of the first Demarcated and Regulated wine region in the world – Douro Valley, now a UNESCO World Heritage site?
- The Portuguese were the first to bring European wines to the Americas and to Asia?
- in 2104 3 out of the top world wines where Portuguese?
- Jancis Robinson, in a 13 year tasting ranked Portuguese red wines the highest
- The 2015 best winery of the world is Portuguese