Haus Alpenz

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Base map data ©2017 Google, Inst. Geogr. Nacional

Categories: White Wine, Red Wine, Carcavelos, Madeira

Sitting on the far western flank of the Iberian peninsula, and thus of Europe, Portugal simultaneously resides at the center and at the periphery of European wine culture: Its stands of Q. suber (cork oak) supply nearly all of the world’s natural cork stoppers—essential for fine wine—while, beyond Port, Portugal's own wines have been little known or understood beyond its borders. This is despite the fact that, owing to Portuguese exploration and trade, its wines were for centuries the world's most widely distributed. Indeed, it was the very reach of that global trade that informed the style of wine most associated with Portugal—Vinho Generoso: strong fortified wines, typically oxidative in character, able to withstand the rigors of trade under the mast. Today, there is a newfound appreciation of these wines beyond Port, especially those from Madeira and Carcavelos, while emerging table wine appellations like Bucelas, Vinho Verde and Douro suggest that Portugal is gaining renewed prominence in the wine world.