This is one of the most commonly-planted vines in the Douro, and one of the five officially recommended varieties for port. You will rarely meet it as a single variety, but it forms part of most red Douro blends, contributing dark colour without too much tannin, thanks to its dark but thin skins, along with plummy, cherry fruit. Despite high yields, its grapes are rich in sugar and potential alcohol, and it is a reliable producer, with good resistance to pests and diseases. However, it copes badly in excessive heat and water stress, and grapes that suddenly become over-ripe can rapidly turn to raisins on the vine. It has been exported to South Africa where is is a component in port-style wines as well as making some varietal table wines.
Source: Wines of Portugal
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