Is Portugal the Most Exciting Wine Place on the Planet Today? It may well be.
— Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator
It’s time to lift the lid on ‘Europe’s best-kept-secret’
— Sarah Ahmed, Decanter
Portuguese winemakers are now producing an array of really fine white wines as well as the extremely distinctive reds
— Jancis Robinson, The Financial Times

Where can I find this up-and-coming wine region?

 

Portugal is Europe's westernmost country. This former maritime power is only 600 kilometers long and 200 kilometers wide, about the size of the US state of Indiana. Portugal may be a small country, but its population of about 10 million sure is thirsty. Year after year, Portugal is consistently one of the world's highest per capita wine-drinking countries. Locals drink an average of 43 liters of wine per person annually. Picture each and every person in the country drinking over a bottle per week! (I know what you are thinking: time to move Portugal). It's no wonder per capita wine consumption is so high: Portuguese wine is just that good.

What does winemaking Portugal look like?

 

What makes Portuguese wines so unique?

Portuguese wines are the next hot thing, and with good cause.

Portugal benefits from about 300 annual days of sunshine and a temperate, Mediterranean climate. Besides making for great vacation weather, you could say Portugal has been genetically blessed: it's got the climate to make excellent wine in a wide array of styles.

Portugal's greatest winemaking assets are arguably the country's indigenous grapes. You may not be able to pronounce their names, but Portugal's native grape varieties are exquisite. While the rest of the world is planting 'international' varieties, Portugal works mostly with indigenous grape varieties (over 250, to be exact) that you won't find planted anywhere else on the planet. You'll love Portuguese wines for their unique flavor and aroma profiles. Decanter says it best, attributing to Portugal "some of the greatest vine biodiversity in the world." If you're seeking impressive wine with character, Portugal is the place to look.

The tempering effects of the Atlantic Ocean, with its westerly winds, have a strong impact on Portugal's coastal regions. Portugal's northernmost regions tend to be colder and wetter than you'd expect, with an average annual temperature of only 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Further south, temperatures can be scorching, with summer highs near 100 degrees! Portugal's diverse climate and geography creates unique opportunities for distinct winemaking.