The Douro is famous for being the "Enchanted Valley", not only for the beauty of the vineyard landscapes that fascinate all those who visit the region, but also for the many mysteries transported over time that make this region unique and full of special curiosities.
Shale is Predominant in the Douro Region
The predominant stone in the Douro region is shale - a metamorphic rock with a laminated appearance and richin minerals, which gives the soil unique properties, such as its ability to retain water.
This unique property allows the Douro's vineyards to survive the dry summer conditions.
Douro is the Oldest Demarcated Region in the World
The Douro region is recognized for being the oldest demarcated region in the world, with a history that goes back to the 18th century.
In order to ensure the quality and authenticity of the region's wines, and to control production and prevent fraud, in 1756, the Marquis of Pombal created a law establishing a specific area for wine production.
And that's how the world's first demarcated and regulated region was created.
Douro has the World's Largest Collection of Paleolithic Art
As well as being predominant and fundamental to the Douro region, shale rocks also have evidence of the Paleolithic era.
In around 500 rocks along the Côa Valley, it is possible to see some of the first great artistic manifestations of that time. Due to their heritage and historical importance, in 1998 these artistic finds were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Douro Terraces were Man-Made
Over time, man started to feel the need to explore the Douro land in order to plant the vines properly.
To this end, an agricultural technique was introduced in which the soil was dug in order to soften it, known as "Surriba".
This action was fundamental in the creation and preservation of the unique Douro landscape.
Open a Bottle of Port Wine with Fire
Wine is a fascinating drink, particularly because of its unique rituals, such as the ritual of opening bottles of Port wine using fire.
This method to opening bottles was created in the Douro region in order to open bottles dated before the 80s.
This happens since in older wines, when the cork is removed after so many decades, there is a risk of falling apart.