The era of innovation

During World War II, there was a sharp decline in port wine exports, which significantly weakened some smaller producers. These were subsequently transferred to major large companies through acquisitions.

Port consumption began to increase in 1950, but the return to pre-war consumption did not occur until the 1960s. During this period, there were again changes in the port business, when companies adapted to the realities of the post-war era.

The consolidation process that took place between the wineries did not escape the area of ​​distribution either. Many of the independent British customers and wine merchants who were the foundation of this business in the pre-war years were replaced by retail chains and supermarkets. This trend has not escaped other Western countries either.

Modern methods are already used in the production of Port wine

Port producers necessarily had to streamline the production scale and produce products that customers demanded directly.

Some wine companies have been bought by the owners of large multinational chains and have unified the portfolio of wines produced for more customer groups. However, other wineries have remained persistent family businesses, as their reputation, creativity and quality of wines have proven to enable them to succeed in the new market environment and ensure prosperity in the long term.

Steel vats in Quinta de Vargellas – modern storage solution for young wine juice

However, the consumer profile has also changed. Until 1930, port consumption was relatively polarized. Port Vintage was intended for the tables and archives of the rich, and simple young Ruby was sold for everyday mass consumption.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a group of customers emerged who were attracted to a culture of quality port, but were still discouraged by the high price of Vintage and its need for storage and decantation.

Harvest in the Douro Valley

This created a new concept of Late Bottled Vintage, a high-quality but affordable port that matured longer in wooden barrels than the Vintage variant. This wine is ready to serve immediately and does not require decantation.

Introducing of Graham’s LBV 2009

The increase in demand for high-quality Port wines has made it necessary to invest in the development of vineyards and the introduction of new methods and technologies in viticulture and winemaking. Significant changes have occurred in the cultivation of vines on the steep slopes of the hills, thanks to the method of planting individual heads in vertical rows, known as Vinha ao Alto, which brings advantages especially when using mechanization.

Treading grapes yesterday and today

The growing interest in the environment and the economic sustainability of the Douro winery has led to the emergence of the first organic vineyards, from which Port is produced in organic quality.

What is Port Wine
Styles of Port Wine
Port Wine production
History of Port Wine
Port Wine origin