The Douro vineyard region has been declared world heritage in December 2001.
A title assigned unanimously that awarded the oldest demarcated region in the world, established by Marquês de Pombal in 1756. Unique region, gathers the characteristics of a unique soil covered with schist and the perfect sun exposure with its unique microclimate together with man's hard work.
Port wine it's a natural fortified wine, made with the grapes from the demarcated Douro region.
What makes the difference between Port and other wines, besides the unique climate, is the fact that fermentation is not completed. Fermentation is stopped in an initial stage but adding strong firewater. Because of that Port is a naturally sweet wine (because sugar from the grapes it's not completely transformed into alcohol) and stronger than the other regular table wines. (between 18 and 22 degrees of alcohol).
Douro River starts in Spain, in Sierra de Urbion at 2080 meters of altitude and reaches the Atlantic shore after 850 km, the river mouth is in the city of Oporto. The strong river slope, the salient rocks, the violent flow, the innumerous irregularities make this river untamed. Because of the unevenness mainly in the international Douro, were it reaches the values of 3m/km since 1961 the damps started being built, giving origin to a large number of reservoirs and quiet waters that contributed to touristic and recreational sailing.
In International Douro, installing the locks together with the damps allowed the creation of a sailing canal. The unevenness is fought by 5 locks :
Lock number 1: Barragem de Crestuma-Lever (1986) maximum unevenness of 13,9 m
Lock number2: Barragem do Carrapatelo (1971) maximum unevenness of 35,0 m
Lock number 3: Barragem da Régua (1973) maximum unevenness of 28,5 m
Lock number 4: Barragem da Valeira (1976) maximum unevenness of 33,0 m
Lock number 5: Barragem do Pocinho (1983) maximum unevenness of 22,0 m
Through over 130 km the Douro River and its tributary river Águeda constitute a natural border between Portugal and Spain. In this part due its geomorphologies the river assumes a cannon structure where the rocky "arribas" are abundant with unique characteristics in climacteric and geological terms and with a unique wildlife.