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In the same way true champagne can only be produced in the Champagne region of France, Port wine is exclusively a product of Portugal. More specifically, the port appellation is limited to Portugal's Douro Valley in the northern provinces and has been since 1756, ranking it among the world's oldest protected wine regions. Reserve a rental car in Porto for your port wine tasting tour.
Port is a fortified wine, meaning that a neutral grape spirit known as aguardente is added in order to stop the fermentation. This process leaves some sugar in the wine, giving port its signature sweetness, and boosts the alcohol content. Port wine is aged after fortification, often in barrels. These barrel-aged ports are broken down into three categories: Tawny port, Colheita, and Garrafeira, each with strict requirements of time that they must be aged in wooden barrels to gain their titles.
Other types of port are bottle-aged and include Ruby port, Reserve or Vintage, Pink port, White port, and Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), Crusted, and Single Quinta. You and your friends can sample the most wine from the different port houses with a seven seater car hire from Port.
Port wine gets its name from the city Porto, known as Oporto in English, which historically was responsible for its production and export. Porto is a major city full of a rich history and culture dating back to the 4th century, entertainment, delicious regional cuisine, and an abundance of unique and classical architecture. The easiest way to reach the Douro Valley wine region is by cheap rental car from Porto Airport, Francisco de Sá Carneiro.
As you drive around the Douro Valley in your Porto car hire you'll be looking for port houses, what the Portuguese call their wineries. The companies which produce port are often called "shippers," which comes from the early years of Port wine trade when many of the most powerful exporting families were English.