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The Douro wine region is tucked in the mountainous northeast of Portugal. Vines are grown on the steep, terraced hills that rise above the Douro River, producing grapes for classic fortified Port wines and, increasingly, excellent Douro table wines.

The Douro consists of three arid subzones, all of which are subject to extreme temperatures and protected from rainfall by adjacent mountains. Starting at the Spain-Portugal border is the Douro Superior zone. This is the largest subzone, known for producing hearty red wines. Moving west along the Douro River is the Cima (higher) Corgo subzone, home to famous Port vineyards above the river banks.

Continuing west is the smallest subzone, Baixo (lower) Coro. This subzone is the closest to the Atlantic Ocean and receives the most rainfall. The key red grapes grown in the Douro region are Touriga Francesa, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (clones of the variety known in neighboring Spain as Tempranillo). They’re used to make both Port and table wines. Wines from the Douro are considered to be among the most elegant reds of Portugal and styled similarly to the elegant wines of Bordeaux.

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