The Grape Varieties



   
 

Thirty or so grape varieties may be used to make port, but nowadays only five or six of the best varieties are used in new plantings.

Most of these are native to the Douro Valley and are specific to Port. They include the dense and concentrated Touriga Nacional, the full bodied and aromatic Touriga Francesa, the firm and finely-constituted Tinta Roriz and the rich and fragrant Tinta Barroca.
 
The grapes are picked by hand and the harvest generally begins in the second half of September, although it may start earlier in the hotter eastern areas.