The 5 key varietals in our Portos and Douro DOCs

Vineyard manager Joachim and I down by rio Tedo. I liken Porto and Douro DOC winemaking to fine cooking. The blending of different varietals, like the blending of fresh ingredients, herbs and spices into what becomes a delicious dish, creates the complexity needed in our award-winning Portos and 3 Douro Doc red wines.  Each varietal, while picked at the same time, provides a different “touch” to the end result.  26 heat resistant, almost all native red varietals are planted in our  14 hectares / 35 acres of vineyards at Quinta do Tedo, but we depend on 5 varietals for consistent « house style ».  Our grapes are farmed organically with the aid of a horse and workers (and a recent introduction of a tractor for certain replanted parcels) and are harvested by hand.  The very busy time of the year, harvest or vindima, is almost here.

Following are brief descriptions of these white-juiced red varietals, and what they offer to our Porto and Douro DOC winemaking.  The photos were taken 23 August.

Touriga Nacional

Touriga Nacional, considered Portugal’s finest grape variety, has dense tannins that give structure and depth. Small cylindrical-conical moderately compact clusters have aromas of wild berries and very ripe blackberries with floral notes, to include violets.

Tinta Roriz

Tinta Roriz, one of the most famous varietals of the Iberian peninsula, also known as Tempranillo or Aragonez, provides good structure, firm tannins and ageability.  Medium-sized, cylindrical-conical moderately compact clusters have aromas of wild berries and blackberries.


Sousão adds deep color and acidity. Medium-sized, cylindrical-conical and winged, medium to very compact clusters have aromas of wild berries and currants and vinous and savory flavors.

tinta cao

Tinta Cão, translated “red dog”, late ripening, provides more length than depth. Very small and loose clusters, with lighter green leaves than other varietals, have delicate aromas of wild berries, currants and wild flowers.

Touriga Franca or Francesa

Touriga Franca is the most widely planted varietal in Douro Valley and gives texture and length in the finish. Medium-big, cylindrical-conical and winged, medium compact clusters have aromas of very ripe black fruit, combined with balsamic notes.

The end result - open up a bottle and taste for yourself~