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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Port or two in Porto

The world knows that champagne comes from the region of Champagne in France, and likewise for the product Port, which originates in the Duoro Valley around the city of Porto.  I've always loved port, and there's no way I was going to miss out here on sampling some of the local produce and having a tour of their cellars.  The Ferreira cellars are located, as are all their competitors, on the southern bank of the river.  A 40-minute walk from the tourist office, including crossing the King Luis bridge over the river, preceded our arrival.

At midday, our English-language tour began.  The guide was very informative.  The year 2011 was a good year for port production, and by 2017 they will know if 2015's harvest will be declared a 'good year' or not, when the port authorities make the decision about that year's quality (by tasting a sample). She said several ports of different ages will be combined to form an average, which we see on the labels.  At the conclusion of the tour, we were given a glass of white port and a glass of ruby port to enjoy.

Afterwards, at lunch by the river, Jean and I had a second ruby port.  I nearly had a third.  Later, we caught the funicular up to near the Cathedral, and paid a visit, roaming round the cloisters and admiring the tiled artworks.

The Ferreira Cellars were established several centuries ago, but expanded upon in the 19th century.
Some of the smaller vats
Our guide told us this large vat holds 73,000 litres of port.
We were given white port and ruby port to try.  The white was lighter while the ruby was quite full-bodied.  I loved them both.
All of us enjoying a port or two in Porto.  



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