Porto, Portugal rich and verdant, ancient and atmospheric with exquisitely tiled churches, worn cobbled streets and the Douro River spilling out into the vast Atlantic Ocean. In the surrounding hills are some of the oldest vineyards in the world supplying grapes for the region's famous Port wine.
Porto was a renowned embarkation point for explorers and navigators from Columbus to Vasco da Gama. Even today, you expect them to suddenly appear and swoosh past you on the streets with their heavy capes and clanking boots. Launching into worlds unknown, defying the many who believed the water ended at the edge of a flat earth. Regardless, they sailed forth from these weathered shores. Seagulls their last familiar sound.
Husbands and lovers who set sail often never returned from these voyages. It was here on these shores of the Douro that many of the women were left with children and hardship, singing songs of lament. Grown men still cover their eyes and cry when listening to the heartbreak life can offer in these Fado songs.
And these are some of the reasons you should reconsider Port wine, for when you drink a good Portuguese Port, you drink also of their spirit, enviable and deep, and their land rich and storied.
© 2013 AFAR Media