The Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many vineyards are ancient, planted long before today’s winemakers worked the vines. Dozens of varietals might be planted in the same vineyard, and we may never be certain of the type of grapes will become part of the blend.

That’s why so many rich, complex wines from these gnarled “old vines” are field blends and simply called “reds.” In this photo, you’ll see old vines at the top of the hill, and newer ones in neat rows at the bottom. Newer vineyards are planted using modern techniques and different varietals are planted in separate blocks for better identification.

The terraced vineyards are another feature that makes the dry, steep Douro Valley such a unique terroir.

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