Uva (grape) has a special place in Portuguese gastronomy. Two places to be more precise; at the table as a dessert and in winemaking. Its origins go back 8000 years, when it began to be grown in the middle east. Each wine producing country is proud of their own national varieties and Portugal is no exception. We have up to 500 varieties, the vast majority of which are not to be found outside Portugal so you can imagine how this translates into winemaking heaven. The quintessential Portuguese grape is the red Touriga Nacional, present in top red wines from regions like Dão and Douro, and as a blending grape for Port wine. Other important red varieties include Baga, Castelão and Trincadeira. The whites are blessed with Alvarinho, Loureiro, Encruzado, Fernão Pires and Moscatel. Grape growing is rich in myth and tradition. If you visit Portugal in September/October, experiencing the harvest (vindima) is a must. A mix of hard strenuous work and party atmosphere, this is the beginning of the winemaking cycle and brings together families and communities. You can even join in! No better way to get to know your uvas.