Douro is a rugged, arid river valley and is mostly famous for producing the fortified wine port. Traditionally the grapes were, and sometimes still are, crushed by foot to extract maximum colour without getting too much tough tannin, but generally this process is now mechanised. The new wines are brought down river to age in the cooler cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. How the wine is aged determines what type of port it will be: tawny, ruby etc. The top vintage ports are only made in the very best years (the year of harvest will be shown on the bottle) and can age for decades.

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