Five Grapes to Watch in the Douro (according to the Symingtons)


(Jason Brandt Lewis) #1

From the drinks business: Symington Family Estates is pinning its hopes on five lesser-known grapes for raising the quality of Port and table wine from the Douro.

Since the 1970s, a range of grapes have been recommended for Port production, which are dubbed “the big five” among Douro viticulturists, and comprise: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão.

However, speaking to db this year, Charles Symington, who is head of viticulture at Symington Family Estates, said that this grape selection was made on “questionable criteria”, pointing out that not all the varieties were chosen for quality; some were promoted for economic viability – either they were high-yielding or disease-resistant.

(Extensive and lengthy edit. . . . )

However, over the following pages, we reveal five grapes beyond the aforementioned recommendations, all of which will take an increasingly important role in the future of Port and Douro table wine, according to Symington Family Estates. . . .

(Article links to a slideshow over five pages, one for each grape.)