Is there more "Port Wine" in the world besides the one produced in the Douro?

8 Year Old port from AustraliaDuring my trip to Hong Kong there was something that made me sad. Over the last four of five years I have been realizing how difficult is to build a brand. As said, only the first 100 years are difficult. And this is even more true for Port Wine. It took many years for Port to be known, recognized and appreciated all around the world. But it achieved such a difficult task. Is one of the wines with more brand awareness and associated to quality, distiction and a certain nobility. So the Portuguese must be very proud to own and make one of the most valuables wines in the world.

However, and there is always a “but” in everything, the success achieved by our ancestrors in the creation of a distinctive wine, attracted others to replicate the original. Almost every new world wine countries have it own version of Port: Argentina, South Africa, Australia or USA. I would not find any problem in this if they would create a new desgnition for their fortified wines. Call it Mendoza 20%, Stellenbosch Noble, Barossa Fortified or Napa Sweet, but not Port. Port is only made in sqm in the Douro wine region of Portugal.

The US have already started legislating against the use of European protected wine-related designations, forbidding the use of the word “Port” in theirs fortified wines. But a lot of political and legal work is still required in other countries.

I hope to find only one type of Port next time I go to Hong Kong, the one from Douro.


4 Comments Added

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  1. Andy Velebil Sunday November 22nd, 2009 | reply
    Oscar, I couldn't agree more. Port is from Portugal, period, end of story! andy
  2. Alex Sunday November 22nd, 2009 | reply
    Don't be too sad, Oscar, as Australia is re-branding fortifieds. Sherry & Tokay have been renamed Apera & Topaque, Champagne (& many other French terms) is never used and Port is next on the list. To be honest, many Port-style wines in Australia are no longer labelled Port anyway so hopefully this change will happen sooner rather than later.
  3. Oscar Quevedo Monday November 23rd, 2009 | reply
    Hi Alex, Good to know Australia is already working on re-branding fortifieds. In any case, I think any change in the legislation will come late and after some confusion be inflicted to the consumers. But better late than never. Thank you for your comments, from a WSET’s A A Calem Port Award ;-)
  4. Pingback: Iberian Wine Links around the Web: Pseudo Holiday Edition! - Catavino Tuesday January 5th, 2010

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