Same Maker, Different Wine

douro valley

For such a small country, it can be a challenge to get a handle on the sheer dimension of Portuguese wine today. These wine comparisons from the same Portuguese winemaker can help give you a start.

We’re talking about some 300 native Portuguese wine grapes, 31 registered Portuguese wine regions and subregions, and 175,591 hectares of vineyards.  To put that in perspective, in the state of California, there are only about 80 grape varieties grown and 362,194 hectares of vineyard (895,000 acres, or about twice as much as Portugal), but California is nearly five times the size.  In other words, there is a lot of biodiversity packed into this slice of Iberia.
For the uninitiated, how should we choose the best wine in Portugal?  Region? Varietal? Vintage? Price?  Eeny, meeny, miny, moe?
In this series, I take a comparative look at the question of Portuguese wine by starting with Portuguese winemakers, comparing two different wines made by the same producer.  While it’s true that every wine should stand on its own merits, it can be helpful to learn about Portuguese wine by keeping one point consistent (the maker) and varying something else (the wine), then seeing how much difference it makes to our tastebuds – and pocketbooks.  I focus on Portuguese wines available for sale outside of Portugal, especially in the American market, but that are not just produced for export, and actually have a presence here.  Then, you can decide which one, if either one, sounds better to you.
(For the more technical among you, I use the term “winemaker” to broadly refer to the winery or wine company under whose label the wine is bottled, not any individual oenologist selecting the grapes or determining the exact blend.)
Check out our latest posts in the series.

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