Vinography Images: Terraced Vineyards

Terraced Vineyards
Of all the wine growing regions of the world, only one looks quite like this. Portugal’s Douro Valley, with its terraced, Mediterranean vineyards snaking around the crenellations of the meandering Douro river is one of the most stunning sites on the planet — Alder Yarrow

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Comments (10):

  1. Timon

    April 25, 2009 at 1:38 AM

    Long time reader, these images are ravishing, thanks for bringing them to your readers, especially at this high quality.
    I have been drinking a lot of Portuguese wine lately, partly because of my Portuguese namesake, who routinely puts me to shame with these wines while I bring CA bottles 3x the price.
    I meant to leave a comment some time ago, regarding a guy who made a comment to the effect that the future of wine in China was Western food. This is the worst possible suggestion imaginable, wish I could be more prescriptively imaginative but all I can say is that this is a recipe for disaster. Send them these Douros (which even work in Mexico), and primitivos and southern Italian wines, and forget the butter.
    Excellent blog!

  2. agrajag

    April 25, 2009 at 2:17 AM

    Amazing terraced vineyards can be found at Cinqueterre in Italy. The seaside slopes of this natural reserve are really stunning. I suspect all works in these vineyards must be manual.

  3. dave

    April 25, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Considering the amount of light that these vines will get, due to the fact that they are terraced, they wine produced from them must be great. These vines get complete and direct light from buy being layered on these slopes. I would love to make a study of how this type of terraces effect the wine compared to regular slopes.

  4. Patrick

    April 29, 2009 at 8:17 AM

    Hey guys another spectacular place to find terraced vinyards is in the Mosel region of Germany. Apparently really stunning riesling requires up to a 70% slope!!

  5. Oscar Quevedo

    April 29, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Great picture! I would love to know where this quinta is exactly in the Douro.

  6. Suzanne

    April 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Stunning, yes, but kind of gross. Monoculture, razed hillsides and probably a lot of erosion and run-off to the river below.

  7. Alder

    April 29, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    Thanks for the comments. You may be correct, but it’s worth noting that people have been growing grapes on these hillsides for centuries, long before the word “monoculture” was invented. Also, it’s not like these hillsides would be farmed with something else instead of grapes. They are rocky, poor nutrient soils, etc.

  8. Oscar Quevedo

    April 29, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    Indeed in some places of these hillsides, and side by side with the vines, there are olive trees, almond trees and in the drier and hotter places, cork oaks. Apart from the vines, all the rest grows in an almost wild way, since the low yields obtained don’t leave much margin for farming it.

  9. Mike Reynolds

    April 30, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    I have been to the Douro and seen the terraces you speak of. As you say, they are stunning. Further, although Andy Katz did a great job in this photo, photography does not do justice to the majesty of the terraced mountainsids.
    A great destination for both the scenery and the wine.

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