Wine

   The Portuguese winemaking tradition goes back to Roman times, when Lusitania began exporting wine to the city of Rome. The modern wine-exporting industry began with the Methuen Treaty (1703), which stipulated that henceforth Portuguese wines would be favored as exports to Great Britain in the same way that British woolens imported to Portugal would have advantages. Portugal has the oldest appellation system in the world, which was established by the first minister of King José I, the Marquis of Pombal in 1758. In that year, Pombal ordered the demarcation of the wine producing region along the Douro River valley, the Região Demarcada do Douro, in order to assure the production of high quality port wines. During the reign of King Carlos I (1889-1908), the Vinho Verde, Dão, Colares, Carcavelos, Setúbal, and Madeira regions were demarcated, each of which has its own Comissão Vitivinicola to supervise the preparation and cultivation of the vineyards and to assure the quality of the wines produced.
   Portuguese wines are labeled Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC), which indicates that the wine is of superior quality from a specific vineyard; Indicação de Pronveniência Regulamentada (IPR), which indicates that wines so labeled were produced under some regulations in a certain demarcated region but are not DOC wines; Vinho Regional, which indicates that such wine was produced without regulation within a specific demarcated region; and Vinho de Mesa, which indicates only that the wine was made in Portugal by a certain producer.
   Portugal produces some of the world's top wines, the best of which are port, madeira, dão, moscatel, and vinho verde. Portugal's most widely known wines are its lightly sparkling rosés, which were successfully mass-marketed in the United States and Europe by Mateus and Lancers beginning in the 1960s. These wines accounted for 40 percent of Portugal's total table wine exports in the 1980s. Increasingly, Portuguese wines are winning international recognition, which has increased their popularity among wine lovers the world over.
   See also Agriculture.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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