Did you know that our fragrance Douro was originally created for Sir Percy of the Croft dynasty in 1911? The scent is a deep and intensely aromatic cologne, inspired by the fragrant labdanum plant growing on their Quinta da Roeda estate in the Douro Valley.
Whilst on holiday last week I couldn’t resist visiting the Croft port house in Oporto, Portugal. To be honest, I was completely clueless about what this fortified wine actually was and how it was made, so I thought I’d share some of the facts I learnt during the tour with you!
1. Grapes have been grown in Portugal since antiquity. Strabo the Greek philosopher describes how the inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula were drinking wine 2000 years ago!
2. The history of Port began in the 17th century. The grapes were grown and
fermented in the neighbouring Douro Valley and then stored and aged in barrels
in cellars in Oporto. It is thought that each year as many as 1,200,000 cases
of wine were shipped down the River Douro to Oporto by the beginning of the 17th
3. Port was originally a standard red table wine. It is not known exactly when or why, Port as we know it today, was created. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the addition of brandy during the fermentation process was widely adopted. The fortification of the wine gives it that sweet and aromatic taste.
4. The Douro Valley was demarcated and regulated in 1756, making Port the oldest controlled denomination of origin.
5. Port is the third oldest protected wine region in the world after the Tokaj-Hegyalia region in Hungary (1730) and Chianti from Italy (1716.)
6. In 1868 the root louse Phylloxera wiped out the vineyards of the Douro Valley. The louse caused severe economic damage and the trade didn’t begin to recover until the 19th century.
7. Numerous port houses still operate in Oporto to this day. Located in Vila Nova de Gaia the majority of these houses are open to the public for tours and wine tasting.
Have you been to the Douro Valley? Do you think Douro is a good interpretation of this beautiful area in Portugal?