Port and the Douro

Port and the Douro front cover

Port and the Douro

Fourth edition

By: Richard Mayson

Publication date: November 2018
ISBN-13 (print): 9781999619381
ISBN-13 (e-book): 9781910902943

The completely updated fourth edition of Richard Mayson’s Port and the Douro offers unparalleled insight into the world of Port and Douro wines. An entire chapter is dedicated to vintage Port, covering harvests as recent as 2017 and providing information on vintages going back to 1844.

Title information

Richard Mayson’s award-winning Port and the Douro, first published in 1999, has become a classic over the last 20 years. In this comprehensively updated fourth edition he reminds us why Port is a drink that continues to fascinate wine-lovers and win new fans.

The last 45 years, since the end of the dictatorship in 1974, have seen vast transformations in the Port world, from labour-saving technology in field and cellar, to advances in sales reach, especially since Portugal’s formal entry into the EU in 1986, and ongoing changes in the way the industry is managed and regulated.

To begin with, Mayson provides a history of Port, from the beginnings of viticulture in Roman times to the present day. The vineyards and their vines as well as the quintas where they are cultivated are thoroughly explored, followed by an explanation of Port production, both traditional and modern. A short introduction to Port types prepares the reader for a detailed assessment of vintages from 1960–2017, some of which have been tasted afresh for this edition; notable vintages (both exceptional and poor) dating back as far as 1844 are also included. The structure of the Port trade remains in flux, and so the chapter on the shippers reflects recent changes in fortune and ownership. Douro wine, which pre-dates its fortified cousin and has seen its revival accelerate over the last 20 years, receives an entire chapter to itself. Finally, for those wishing to visit the region, there are some ideas on what to do and where to stay.

Peppered throughout with anecdotes, potted biographies of those who shaped the industry and insights into quirks of the trade, this extensive and engaging guide to Port is an essential book for any wine enthusiast’s library.

Pages: 416
Language: English
Publisher: Infinite Ideas
Edition: 4
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Richard Mayson

Richard Mayson is an award-winning wine writer and an authority on Portuguese wine. A lecturer and consultant, he writes for Decanter, Wine International and The World of Fine Wine and is a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Wine and Larousse Encyclopaedia of Wine.  In 2015, he was the recipient of the Louis Roederer International Wine Feature Writer of the Year award.  His books include Portugal’s Wine and Winemakers and The Wines and Vineyards of Portugal. He is Chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards for Port and Madeira Wine and the owner of a vineyard in the Alto Alentejo region.

A collection of authoritative books on the world’s top three fortified wines. In Port and the Douro, Richard Mayson details the different styles of port and explores the most significant producers – from big names to boutique makers. With vintage reports stretching back to 1896, Port and the Douro is an indispensable reference guide to one of the world’s greatest fortified wines. The sixth, fully revised and updated edition of Julian Jeffs’ Sherry explores the fascinating, turbulent history of the sherry region and details its wine production – from the planting of vines in the south of Andalusia and the complex stages of fermentation, ageing, and blending, to the moment it leaves the bottle. Richard Mayson also provides the third book in this set, Madeira: The islands and their wines. One of the most enthralling of the world’s wines as well as the most resilient, Madeira is currently experiencing a renaissance. Here, Mayson uses his considerable experience of fortified wines to explain Madeira’s magic.