Gateway Douro

Douro is a Portuguese wine region located around the Douro River, upstream, east of the city of Porto. It is sheltered by mountain ranges from the coastal influence. The region has Portugal's highest wine classification as a Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). While the region is primarily associated with Port wine production, Douro produces just as much table wine as it does fortified wine. The non-fortified wines are referred to as "Douro wines".
There is archaeological evidence for winemaking in the region dating from the end of the Western Roman Empire, during the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D.
In the 17th century, the region's vineyards expanded, and the earliest known mention of "Port wine" dates from 1675. Following the establishment of many British Port lodges in Porto from the 1700’s, Port wine became the primary product traded from the region. From September 1756 a charter was established to define the production area and regulations for Port wine. As a result, it became the world's first wine region to have a formal geographical demarcation.
While table wine has always been produced in the region, it was solely consumed locally until the 1950’s when wine began to be traded outside the area. While the wines could be good, for a long time, there was no attempt to use Douro grapes to produce more ambitious table wine. It is not however until the 1990’s that a large number of quality table wines made their appearance outside the Douro border. A contributing factor was Portugal's entry into the European Economic Community in 1986.
The Douro wine region was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001.
Here is the UNESCO justification to award the Douro its status: "The Alto Douro Region has been producing wine for nearly two thousand years and its landscape has been moulded by human activities. The components of the Alto Douro landscape are representative of the full range of activities association with winemaking – terraces, quintas (wine-producing farm complexes), villages, chapels, and roads. The cultural landscape of the Alto Douro is an outstanding example of a traditional European wine-producing region, reflecting the evolution of this human activity over time."
The Douro wine region is situated around the Douro river valley and lower valleys of its tributaries Varosa, Corgo, Távora, Torto, and Pinhão. The region is sheltered from Atlantic winds by the Marão and Montemuro mountains. The climate is Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers and cold winters.
Terraced vineyards are very common in the Douro region. Vineyards dedicated to Port production are usually planted on schist while areas with granite-based soils are used for table wine production.
The main grape varieties found in the Douro region include red grapes with Bastardo, Mourisco tinto, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (the same as Spain's Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional, and white grapes with Donzelinho branco, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato, and Viosinho.
Gateway Douro embodies the classic, great value, food friendly and palatable Douro Wines from that region.