A safe harbour for delectable ports.
The Douro valley
The Douro Valley is a sun drenched location in northern Portugal. Carved out of the granite and schist stone over many thousands of years by the Douro river, (the same river that is called the Duero in Spain). The landscape offers a perfect grape growing environment, but an equally challenging human environment for cultivating them. This is where that distinctive terraced formation comes in. The patterns humans make on a landscape when they see the potential to work alongside nature in creating something beautiful. In this case, wine and port.
Port in particular is one of the drinks indicative of this region, and probably what most consumers think of when they think of the Douro Valley. For us, as wine investors port also offers a few very unique traits that make it particularly enticing. It is has incredible age potential, and really deep flavour profiles that can also evolve over time to be nuanced and intensely appealing. But what is it about port in particular that allows it to do this?
What makes port special?
- Port fortified wine is a protected heritage drink. What this means first and foremost is that no other drink made in the world can be named port. Australia for example has many excellent port style fortified wines, but they are not port. As such, port is unique.
- A fortified wine is a wine that has its fermentation prematurely stopped by adding a spirit to it. Usually grape brandy. This has the effect of keeping the wine much sweeter, as the residual sugars that would have normally been converted by the yeast are still present. This combination of extra sugar, extra alcohol and very concentrated grape juice makes for a potent combination when it comes to preserving the wine for decades, if not centuries.
- Port has many nuanced versions of itself. From ruby port, late bottled vintage port, tawny port, and of course vintage port. From the investment perspective, vintage port is by far the most desirable. This is for a very good reason. Vintage ports are not made every year. They are only made when a years growth has been particularly exceptional. If this is the case then the vintage port made in that year will be from grapes only grown in that year. Making for a much better expression of time, place and terroir.
This all contributes to the uniqueness of the wine, and therefore its scarcity.
- The grapes used in port making are very particular to that region. This includes many indigenous grapes and local varieties.
– Touriga Nacional
– Touriga Franca
– Tinta Roriz
– Tinta Barroca
– Tinta Cao
To name a few of the varieties commonly found in port wine. These grapes are starting to find ground in other countries now, but for the most part they are still unique to Portugal. And so from an investment point of view, they are equally interesting in terms of owning a scarce, unique and collectible asset.
So what you are saying is that port is a good investment?
It is fair to say that Port offers less extreme returns compared to some wines such as top tier Burgundies, and super Tuscans. However, the returns are extremely stable and there is very little volatility. It is also an extremely long lasting asset and so if you were to play the long game, it is an excellent investment in that respect too, with all the ports we are offering displaying drinking windows up to 2099 and even beyond. It also has cultural significance, wherein some buyers will buy a port in the vintage closest to their child’s birth year, and gift it to them at an important life milestone such as a coming of age, wedding, etc. Meaning there is a very good secondary market for these assets.
As always, we have you covered. We have dropped a selection of excellent wine offerings from Douro Valley this week, with a few wines and Ports for you to gain access to. We hope you will enjoy the selection we have carefully curated for you.
As always, happy investing, and for more bite sized pieces of wine knowledge to help you navigate this fine wine market. Make sure to stay tuned for future articles, and check out our previous articles too.
The best of the old world — VII
Legacy collection — VI Australia, a little look at some old bushes
Legacy collection — V Tuscany and grape yields
Legacy collection — IV A deep dive into Rioja
Legacy collection — III Adventures with Whisky.
Legacy collection — II Burgundy and weather.
Legacy collection — I Napa Valley
And make sure to follow us on our Discord channel as well for all the most up to date news, giveaways, and investment drops.
All the best!