What are the best grapes for making Port wine?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What are the best grapes for making Port wine?

—Berenice G., Vancouver, B.C.

Dear Berenice,

For starters, I want to make sure you understand that most of the time the term “Port” is used, it’s to refer to genuine Port from Portugal. There, more than 80 different grape varieties are authorized for Port production; the most widely used—and highly regarded—are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz (also known as Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão.

You may have seen “port” from other regions made with other types of grapes. Some winemakers have borrowed the term to refer to their own fortified wines, but it’s frowned upon (and illegal in some parts of the world) to call a wine "port" if it’s not actual Port, with some exceptions that have been grandfathered in.

—Dr. Vinny

Portugal Fortified Wines Ask Dr. Vinny

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