Portugal has a longstanding tradition of exports and owed for many years its reputation to Port and Madeira muted wines whose origin dates back to the XVIth century. In recent years, in particular since Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, wine production has been modernized and the country has boosted its high potential, in particular for dry red wines, and also as the first cork producer in the world.
Surface : 239 000 ha Production : 6,1 Mhl Consumption : 4,5 Mhl
- soils are essentially granitic, with some sandy, limestone, clay, quartz and shale terrains
- climate is temperate oceanic and sunny, humid in the plains and dryer in the hills
- grape varieties : more than 340 varieties are grown, of which the main reds are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cao, Tempranillo; and the main whites: Arinto, Moscatel (muscat), Alvarinho, Sercial
Main wine regions
- North : DOC Douro, DOC Porto, DOC Vinho Verde
- Center : DOC Dão, DOC Madeira
- South : DOC and Vinho regional Alentejo
Legislation is that of the E.U., with a distinction between vinho de mesa (table wine) and wines with geographic indication. The latter comprise IGP or "vinho regional" (local wines), and IPR (indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada) which is in line for DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada).