Tag: world heritage

Oporto and Douro: so near and yet so different

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Ancient, rich in microclimates and with a variety of strains. This is the demarcated Douro region and it sits on shale soils in an area of ??great beauty that is distributed by secular terraces along the banks of the River Duero (Douro in Portugal).

In addition to beeing a site of World Heritage and birthplace of Port wine, the region is producing excellent white table wines, red wines, sparkling wines and muscat. The complexity of the aromas of port wine, originallycalled Vinho de cheiro (wine aroma), has continued to seduce the senses throughout the centuries. The proof of age is that they just celebrate their age: September 10, the Port Wine Day celebrates 259 years as the first demarcated region of the world.

Among the strains authorized in the production of wines of Douro, the most used are Touriga Nacional (the “Portuguese Cabernet”), Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao and Tinta Roriz (the Spanish tempranillo). The vast majority of wine is made with several strains although monovarieties are also produced, usually in the wines of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga franca.

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The way of the winery, manual or the mechanical steps, is part of the traditional method of wine production in the Douro. However, some of the producers have contributed with the most recent methods, e.g.stainless steel tanks with temperature control during fermentation. The advantage of the original method is its ability to extract the tannins, the second allows the production of wines with well-preserved aromas. The use of the two methods simultaneously results in complex wines, quite dense and structured. In addition, a new generation of winemakers went on proving that the Douro lives not only of Porto. In this region, table wines are made with new methods and are true specialists in winemaking.

In 2014, the prestigious magazine Wine Spectator has tasted 18,000 wines from around the world to classify them in terms of quality, price and availability in the market. Your selection Top 10 includes three wines from the Douro region.

Vintage port wine Dow’s 2011 Symington Group was chosen as the best wine in 2014, 99 points out of 100. In third and fourth place, both with 97 points, were the Chryseia 2011 (also Symington) and Quinta do Vale Meão, Olazabal & Filhos, descendants of Antónia Ferreira, the famous “Ferreirinha”.

The Real Companhia Velha has over 250 years in production and owns an archive of historical documentation (across the river Douro, in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the large wineries) enjoying the Douro wines are personalities like Marques de Pombal, Napoleon and Catherine of Russia.

This company sells and produces Porto wine on its 535 hectares of vineyards, distributed over 7 equal farms producing table wines such as Quinta das Carvalhas, one of the oldest in the region and the Quinta de Cidró in S. João da Pesqueira.

 

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Real Companhia Velha Vintage Port 2004

 

 

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Real Companhia Velha Vintage Port 1985

 

 

UNESCO declares Champagne and Burgundy as part of its World Heritage

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has just added the regions of Champagne and Burgundy as part of its World Heritage list, a recognition that wine producers in these regions chase since many years ago, especially addressed to vineyards and cellars, but that indirectly will benefit large sections of the society and population of each region.

With regard to Champagne, the decision affects areas such as Hautvilliers, Aÿ, Sainte-Nicasie in Reims and the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay, who make up the productive core of the most appreciated and traditional sparkling wine in the world. According to the verdict itself from UNESCO, “these areas witness the development of a very specialized artisan activity which has become an agro-industrial enterprise”.

As for Burgundy, Unesco has included 1,247 “climats” of the region, demarcated wine production plots that make up the characteristic mosaic that covers the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, as well as the villages and the city of Beaune, in addition to the historical centre of Dijon.

According to the Committee in charge of the inclusion of this area, “the site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages”.

In turn, the co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Aubert de Villaine, said: “This inscription is also a recognition to the work of generations, the Cistercian monks, the Dukes of Burgundy, men and women, wine growers.. All of whom have, through the centuries, painstakingly shaped the vineyards of Burgundy in their determined quest for excellence”.

Pierre Cheval, president of the Association Paysages du Champagne, which has coordinated the candidacy of the region during the past eight years, said that “The listing is a form of recognition, but also undertaking to the world’s nations, so we must ensure that we are worthy of it. We are duty-bound to preserve and maintain this landscape, know-how and heritage so that we can pass them on unspoilt to future generations”.

Thus, after the announcement by the Unesco, these regions join, in their membership of the World Heritage, the Italian region of Piedmont, Mosel in Germany, Tokaj in Hungary and Wachau in Austria.

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R de Ruinart: a sparkling wine from this DO: Champagne made with pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes and has a volume of alcohol of 12º.

 

 

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Grand Regnard Chablis 2013: a white wine with Burgundy DO with the best bunches of chardonnay from the 2013 vintage.