The Douro Valley is the largest mountainous wine region in the world with 44 thousand hectares of vineyards and the first to be demarcated worldwide.
Composed of three sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior, all of which are distinguished not only by geography but also by the quality of wines produced there.
This is the region with the smallest territory, but with the highest percentage of planted vineyards.
It has a high production of Port wines, being the birthplace of viticulture in the Douro region. However, there has also been an excellent quality in the production of table wines. The wines produced here are generally younger and fresher, and have a fruity character.
This region produces younger Port wines due to its climate, which is milder and rainier than in the other sub-regions. It is also the most fertile region with the highest yields of vineyards
The landscape of this sub-region is totally different from the rest. The slopes form a rugged relief and the river valleys are geological formations consisting of shale, the soil being more rugged.
The climate is drier and yields are low. Cima Corgo contains the highest concentration of historic high quality vineyards.
There is little incidence of rainfall, which leads to wines being more concentrated, with a greater potential for aging. Here are located the main Port Wine producers.
It is the largest of all subregions and also has the warmest and driest climate. Its relief is less rugged, constituting smoother slopes, making mechanization easier. Due to the reduced rainfall the vines produce less, however they give rise to some of the best Vintage Port Wines.
Due to its geographical position compared to the other sub-regions, it appears to be more isolated, taking advantage of less human intervention, maintaining its landscape and biodiversity better preserved.