Temperature, sunlight, altitude, degree of slope of the soil, exposure to wind, and proximity to rivers or the Ocean are factors that affect the maturation of the grapes and, therefore, the production of wines and their characteristics.
Here the winemaker also plays an equally important role in how to manage the vineyard and when to harvest.
Despite the small land surface (35,500+ square miles), Portugal is a kind of microcosm in which there is a Mediterranean climate with or without maritime influence in the mainland, in the Madeira archipelago a sub-tropical climate and in the Azores, once again, Mediterranean but much more pleasant.
Added to this are several topographic conditions. There are more mountains in mainland Portugal to the north and northeast with plains to the south.
For example, vines planted at an altitude receive a greater difference in temperature throughout the day, so grapes are richer in color and tannins.
Portugal is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean on all its south and west sides. Sea winds act in a refreshing way in the vineyards along the coast.
Many of the wine regions are crossed by rivers, some even get their name from it – Douro, Dão, Tejo. Here the proximity to water acts in two ways. First, it makes the temperature more stable and long-lasting.
Second, it also acts as a mirror, reflecting sunlight, intensifying its presence in the vineyards creating a more ripe grape.
As for the soils, they vary between granitic, schist, clay, sandy, and of volcanic origin on the islands. Adding to this the diversity of grape varieties, around 250, we now have a country with the appetite to produce almost all styles of wine!
Based on all this, Portugal has 29 delimited designations of origin for the production of wines plus 14 geographical indications.
Do you want to know more about Portuguese wines?
Desenrolhar Vinhos Portugueses it's an online wine course that gives you what you need to know to feel confident when choosing and drinking Portuguese wine.
During the Desenrolhar Vinhos Portugueses you will live 14 stimulating days traveling through mainland Portugal and get to know the wine producing regions and their main grape varieties.
And because I know that the labels on the bottles are confusing and do little to help you choose the wines, you will also learn “Labelese”.
You will learn facts and practical tips that will give you much more confidence when choosing a wine that you will enjoy drinking and sharing with others.
Imagine yourself arriving home in three weeks, after buying a Portuguese wine and feeling confident and even excited about your choice.
This unique and innovative online wine challenge was created for you with just 20 minutes a day to “unlock” what you need to know to feel confident when tasting and choosing a Portuguese wine.
Who is it for?
Do you like to drink Portuguese wine but you don't know anything about it.For you, there are only one or two regions in Portugal that make (good) wine.
You get confused with the name of the Portuguese varieties.
It is difficult for you to talk about the wines you like to drink.
You consider the Reserva wines to be the best in Portugal.
You want to easily start choosing a wine in the store or restaurant.
You've always wanted to know more about wines, but you think it's complex and only available to a few.
You like to have fun while learning.
You are ready to “uncork” Portuguese wines and become an enlightened and confident connoisseur.
What you will learn
Get to know 10 wine producing regions in mainland Portugal;
Understand the importance of soil and climate in the characteristics of wines;
Know the most important white and red grape varieties in Portugal;
Know the classification of Portuguese wines;
Know the designations of quality and their meanings;
Know how to read a wine label.
Each day you will receive an email with a link to the challenge (short videos) and fun practical exercises where you will apply what you have learned.
Desenrolhar Vinhos Portugueses it was created to allow you to attend classes at the time that is most favorable for you.
At the end of the 14 days challenge and with just 20 minutes a day, you will start to “uncork” Portuguese wines with much more confidence.
You choose the wines you want to taste, they cost €5 or €25 a bottle. And you will also have my follow-up throughout the 14 days in the community - Desafio Vinhos on Facebook.
In the end I guarantee you, knowing the origin and characteristics that this gives to each wine and how they communicate on the label, you will have a safe starting point for a more accurate purchase that will meet your palate in just 14 days.
Choosing wines in the store or restaurant will no longer be a headache for you.
Why did I create this challenge?
I know wine is complex and can be scary for you and I want to help change that.
After years of teaching about Portuguese wines plus the contact I have at events with thousands of wine lovers like you, I feel that most people see wine in an intimidating way and find it confusing.
There is a lot of insecurity… the fear of giving the opinion and not being the “correct”, the question of choosing between two bottles.
Wine is indeed a unique drink and yes, it is complex, however I believe that is where the power of attraction it exerts lies.
What you need to know to feel confident when choosing and drinking Portuguese wine, you will find in Desenrolhar Vinhos Portugueses – 14 Days Challenge.
Friday the 1st of October is your last chance to sign up the to the 14 Day Wine Challenge – Desenrolhar Vinhos Portugueses.
Please note, this third editions is only available in Portuguese language.