The Douro, located in northeast Portugal, is world famous for its Port wines, some of the most collectible wines made anywhere in the world. Today, however, their table reds and whites are starting to gain some popularity as well; this is as it should be as production of these wines is approximately on the same level as that of Port. The region is named for the local Douro River, and is sometimes referred to as Alto Douro. There are three sub-regions of the Douro DOC: Baixo Corgo, the farthest west; Alto Corgo or Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. Rainfall varies, with Baixo Corgo receiving the most, and Douro Superior, the least, as conditions here are desert like. Of the three zones, Baixo Corgo has the most vineyards, while most examples of Port emerge from the Alto Corgo zone.

Port is made from several local varieties (as many as thirty are allowed), most notably: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinto Cao. Of course, Port, very deep in color and somewhat heavy with alcohols in the %18-$20 range are the most famous wines of the Douro, but lately, a great deal of attention has been paid to the dry reds, often made with the same varieties as in Port, such as Touriga Nacional. These reds have deep color with black fruit and mocha flavors; acidity is somewhat low, so these are meant for early to mid-term consumption. White wines are produced from varieties such as Malvasia Fina, Moscatel and Gouveio; these whites are often quite aromatic, with tropical fruit perfumes, are are sometimes aged in oak; they are meant for early consumption. (Wine/Appellations)