Jancis Robinson wrote a love letter to the Douro valley a few days ago, and I can only agree and simply have to repost it.
She opens with the line that some landscapes just get under your skin, and she uses an African safari. Now, I have done safaris in Southern and Eastern Africa, and I couldn’t agree more: the sweeping savannas, the incredibly wide sky, and naturally seeing those animals of childhood dreams in real life…I could watch elephants for days and weeks without getting tired.
Then there are other landscapes that catch me, like the rising mountains of Alaska, straight from the sea, snow capped. It’s insanely breath-taking in its majesty. And then there is the Mosel valley, with its steep vineyards and the rather unimpressive little river snaking through. And then there is the Douro valley in Northern Portugal which I have been fortunate to visit once, and hope to repeat that sometime this year. The vineyards in these ultra steep are terraced, rugged, not like the picturesque Mosel. Here, it is more brute force, and sun burnt land…stunning.
Not to mention the people and the wines, not just Port. Some of my favorite, affordable wines in the world come from this area. Jancis takes us on a tour d’horizon through recent Port developments and regular wines. We all could use a little more Portugal, a little more Douro in our lives.
Jancis Robinson: What’s in (and out) in the world’s oldest wine region