Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga
These grapes are taken together because they make up the blends of most Port wines and the red table wines of the Douro. In the past they were planted together in the vineyard and harvested at the same time. Each grape was chosen for the type of soil and terrain; for example Touriga Nacional thrives in shallow, stony soils and likes full sunlight; the Touriga Francesa needs to be protected from strong winds and likes fertile sites and Tinta Barocca needs to be shaded and does well on cooler north or east facing slopes.
Of the main grapes, Touriga Nacional is probably the most famous of the red varieties. It has small thick-skinned berries that give low yields and produce dark, concentrated wines with great reserves of fruit and high tannin content. Touriga Nacional gives depth, volume and stamina to the wines. Touriga Francesa is the most widely planted variety in the Douro and produces intense fruity wines similar to those of Touriga Nacional but with more elegance and aroma often contributing attractive floral notes to the wine. The grape has a firm backbone of tannin that helps add structure. Tinta Roriz comes after Touriga Francesa in plantation area. Its large berries and big bunches produce relatively high yields and the grape likes hot, arid climate conditions. This grape does best in dry vintages when it produces well-structured, fragrant wines that develop great elegance and complexity with age, often with ‘resiny’ flavours. Finally, Tinta Barroca produces luscious, sweet, soft and round wines with lots of colour. It fills out the more tannic, austere grapes and is grown in cooler parts of the vineyard in order to limit its aptitude to produce large amounts of sugar in hot years.