Portuguese Wine is a Modern Day Classic at SommCon San Diego

Dec 13, 2019

A hot new wine country with millennia of tradition: it may seem like an oxymoron, but this statement embodies the unique winemaking country of Portugal. At SommCon San Diego, held from November 13 to 15, 2019, members of the wine trade had the chance to explore Portugal’s modern-day wine renaissance, driven by the intersection of ancient winemaking techniques, indigenous grape varieties, new technology, and an energetic new generation of winemakers.

Though Portuguese wine has likely been around for at least 4,000 years, the country’s entrance into the EU in 1986 was the first step towards a modern-day renaissance, bringing investment in technology and a renewed focus towards quality to Portuguese wines after decades of environmental and political hindrances. But rather than obfuscating the country’s long-honed traditions, winemakers used technology like stainless steel tanks, temperature control, and cellar hygiene to simply enhance these techniques.

The real rediscovery of Portugal’s wines has come with a new generation of winemakers, who recognize their home country’s potential and work to bring it to the world stage. With a greater awareness of the wine world as a whole and skills honed in the world’s best wineries and universities, these young, innovative Portuguese winemakers are reclaiming the country’s indigenous varieties and using ancient winemaking techniques, like amphora-aging, to create attention-grabbing wines of unique character.

As wine trade members had the opportunity to taste and learn about the wide range of high-quality Portuguese wines, they experienced firsthand the great results that come from the merging of tradition and innovation. As they seamlessly combine the old and the new, Portuguese wines are proof positive that Portugal is a modern-day classic.

 

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