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Book cover of Richard Mayson's study, Port and the Douro, with a Rabelo boat with barrels of Porto wine aboard. Published by Academie du Vin Library.

Port and the Douro

By (author) Richard Mayson
Illustrated by Leo Duff


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  • Comprehensive study of Port and its production; also features an entire chapter dedicated to unfortified Douro wines
  • Detailed assessments of all vintages from 1960 to 2017 with notable vintages back to 1844 also profiled
  • Chapter on when and where to visit, and where to stay makes this a valuable travel companion
Full Description

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.

About the Author

Richard Mayson is an award-winning wine writer and an authority on Portuguese wine. A lecturer and consultant, he writes for Decanter and The World of Fine Wine and is a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Wine, the Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine and the World Atlas of Wine. His books include Port and the Douro, Madeira: The Islands and Their Wines and The Wines of Portugal. He is Chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards for Port and Madeira Wine. Leo Duff was born in Belfast and studied Illustration at Brighton College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. She works as a maker of artworks concerning A Sense of Place and is Artist in Residence, UCA Farnham School of Craft and Design.

Academie du Vin Library
7th Feb 2024
Paperback / softback
World excluding Australia
234 mm x 156 mm
402 Pages
9 color, 22 b&w
Name of series
The Classic Wine Library
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