Portuguese wines: The Best Wines from Portugal

Portugal is renowned for its history of wine production and rooted traditions, diverse selection of native grape varieties and a varied climate and landscape. These unique elements make Portuguese wines state of the art.

The country boasts an array of wines that have gained global recognition with Port and Madeira standing out as the most famous fortified wine varieties. Alongside these classics Portugal also produces two other types of fortified wines. Moscatel from Setúbal and Douro as well as Carcavelos. These renowned names showcase Portugals expertise in crafting fortified wines.

Portugal is home to one of the first demarcated wine regions established in 1757 in the Douro region for making Port wines. The vineyards of port wines are on terraced hills along the Douro River reflecting centuries craftsmanship dating back to, around 100 AD and earning the valley recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Portugals wine industry has experienced a resurgence adopting methods and transitioning from fortified wines, to rich full bodied table wines, particularly the strong reds originating from the Douro Valley. This trend highlights Portugal's embrace of high quality dry wines, which have gained widespread recognition in the global wine market.

Regions in Portugal

Alentejano  |  Dao  |  Douro  |  Madeira  |  Setubal

Best of Wines : Specialist in exclusive wines from Portugal

At Best of Wines, you have come to the right place if you are looking for exclusive Portoguese wines. Best of Wines has a very large stock of these wines from Portugal, especially wines from Douro and Madeira. These are without a doubt the two most renowned wine regions for making fortified wines in the country. But red and white wines from Portugal are becoming more and more popular with increasing quality.


Legendary wines from Portugal

All wines in Portugal

History of Portuguese Wines

Throughout history, Portugal has been known for its cork production, though the focus changed in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Due to the turmoil in France affecting wine supplies to England and Scotland, Portugal filled the gap in by supplying large amounts of (fortified) wine.. By the 20th Century, the demand for Portuguese wines had significantly declined, so Portugal main focus was on cork production and became world dominant. However, in the 21st Century, the Portuguese cork industry has met new competition by the introduction and increasing popularity of plastic corks and metal screwcaps.

By the end of the 20th century, the renowned Mateus rosé had propelled Portugal into international recognition. The increasing quality and popularity of dry red Portuguese wines led the Portugal's wine industry is back onto the global stage.


Wines from Douro have a worldwide reputation, especially for Port. Producers like are known for making some of the best wines worldwide.

  • Fonseca. The company dates back to 1815 and brought its first vintage port on the market in 1840. Fonseca has produced several port wines that have been awarded 100 points by professional wine reviewers.
  • Graham. The company started in Glasgow at the beginning of the 19th century as port shippers. Today Graham's is considered as a leading high quality Port producer.
  • Taylor's. Leading Port producer who came first with a single Quinta Vintage (1958 Quinta de Vargellas) and first with a 10 & 20 year old Tawny and a Late Bottled Vintage. The super rare Scion 1855 bottling gained worlwide fame. 
  • Quinta do Noval. Quinta do Noval prodces one of the most exciting port; The vintage port Nacional.
  • Kopke. Famous for its vintage port and repeating releases of old vintages. Vintages from 1900's are still available on the markt. . 


Wines from Douro are mainly fortified wines.

Check all Douro wines on the Douro wines page.

Wine regions in Portugal

Portugal's mainland stretches from the Minho and Tras-os-Montes in the northwest to the sun-soaked vineyards of the Algarve in the south, spanning around 650km long by 200km across. Portugal’s wine regions are the following: Minho, Dão, Douro Valley, Beiras, Lisboa, Tejo, Setubal, Madeira, Algarve, Alentejo, Beira Interior, Terras De CIster, and Transmontano.

The Douro River and its valleys, especially notable for Port and red wine production, centre around Porto. The Valleys are famous for Port wine, where the vineyards are on terraced hills besides the Douro River. This region produces next to fortified sweet wines like LBV, Tawny, and Vintage Port also rare white and rosé ports and rich reds (Tinto Douro) and mineral-rich whites (Douro Branco).

Between Porto and Lisbon lies the Beiras, comprising Beira Atlantico and Beira Interior, housing the DOC wine regions of Dão and Bairrada. Dao is known for exceptional quality wines and high-altitude vineyards. Grape varieties include Dão Alfrocheiro, Dão Jaen, Dão Touriga Nacional. Regional wines like Terras do Dão and Terras de Lafões, experimenting with diverse blends and international grape varieties.

Lisbon is surrounded by various wine regions like Lisboa, Setúbal Peninsula, Tejo, and Alentejo, while the Algarve resides at the country's southern tip.

The islands of Madeira (famous for its fortified wines) and the Azores archipelago, further west in the Atlantic Ocean, are officially recognized as "autonomous regions" of Portugal.

The terroir of wines from Portugal

Portugal's diverse terroirs, shaped by its maritime climate, offer winemakers varied landscapes—from mountains to coastal hills. Rainfall aids yields but poses fungal risks in less ventilated sites. Coastal regions like Lisboa balance yields and quality through careful management.

Portugal's climate yields diverse wines: Vinho Verde's light whites, Douro's robust reds and Port, and Central/Southern Portugal's varied wines like Arinto and Fernao Pires for whites, and Trincadera and Alfrocheiro for reds.

Madeira, a volcanic island rising steeply from the sea, is an autonomous province of Portugal. It lies some 850 kilometers southwest of Portugal and includes the island of Porto Santo. In Madeira, viticulture is practiced up to an altitude of 800 meters.

The Azores, a cluster of islands positioned around 1,600 kilometers from Lisbon in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, host numerous small vineyard plots enclosed by protective walls known as "currais." These walls shield the vineyards from the strong ocean winds.

Grapes of wines from Portugal

Among Portugal's top ten cultivated grapes, only Syrah stands apart. Indigenous varieties dominate, including Touriga Franca, Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, and Baga, with Tinta Roriz leading among red grapes. Approximately 250 grape varieties, some unique like Touriga Nacional, coexist with others, like Tinta Roriz/Tempranillo, widely used in amongst others Spain.

Portugal's wine success focusses on native varieties, despite using international varieties. It allows winemakers to maintain a distinct essence in their wines. White grape varieties in the top tier include Fernao Pires, Siria (Roupeiro), and Arinto (Pederna).

Portugal's vineyards offer a rich tapestry of grapes, reflecting the country's diverse viticulture worth exploring.

Classifications of wines from Portugal

There are three levels of quality in the classification of wines in Portugal. Region-specific characteristics and winemaking requirements are supervised by the Comissão Vitivinícola Regional (CVR). Portugal's lack of water forces them to manage irrigation with caution. There are also some wine terms in Portugal, such as vinho tinto (red wine), vinho brance (white wine), and quinta (wine from a special winery). The three tiers that are recognized by their labels:

  • Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). Geographically strict, with specified grapes and yields for top quality. There are more than 30 DOCs, but some of them overlap, so the total is slightly less.
  • Vinho Regional or Indicação Geográfica Tipica (IGP). There are multiple regional wine regions in Portugal, collectively referred to as "vinho regional." These areas have relatively laxer laws governing the use of specific grape varietals and maximum vine output. Although this may indicate a possible drop in quality, many forward-thinking producers use the Vinho Regional designation to create outstanding wines made from mixes or grape varietals that are not approved for use in the DOC classification.
  • Vinho (Wine). Basic Portuguese table wines, frequently used to denote the name of a winery.

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