PRODUCTION OF PORT

Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro region. The wine produced is then fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as Aguardente in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The fortification spirit is sometimes referred to as Brandy but it bears little resemblance to commercial Brandies. The wine is then stored and aged, often in barrels stored in "caves" (pronounced "ka-vess" and meaning "cellars" in Portuguese) as is the case in Vila Nova de Gaia, before being bottled. The wine received its name, "Port", in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe. The Douro valley where Port wine is produced was defined and established as a protected region, or appellation in 1756 — making it the third oldest defined and protected wine region in the world after Chianti (1716) and Tokaji (1730).

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