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Origins of the Douro (see video)

The antiquity of the Douro Valley

The Douro Valley has a variety of traces from the civilizations that have occupied this territory, since prehistoric times.

Since the Roman period the vine is cultivated. The landscape of vineyards shows ways of vine growth which come from different historical eras.

At the basis of all there is a desert landscape of rugged cliffs, taken over by shale and granite and covered by bushes and shrubs, typical of a climate in between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, that becomes drier as we move inland.

The evolution of Douro wines

Over three centuries, terrain enhancement and technical improvements were created,  these allowed the cultivation of vineyards in adverse conditions on steep and rocky slopes, by building terraces, supported by extensive schist walls which helped preventing erosion .

The landscape was unmistakably molded, to transform it into thousands of miles of vineyards.

The immense parallel plantings , either in terraced levels and horizontally, or in vertical vineyards, or now more often alternating between  the two modalities, form majestic geometric tapestries.

 Its stratification in stairwells, tearing mountains, matches with the quiet smoothness of a river turned into a succession of lakes by the building of dams.