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January 12, 2012

Grape of 2012: Portugieser

Also: Blauer Portugieser, Vöslauer (Austria), Kekoporto (Hungary)

Here, in the Pfalz, this is most commonly known as a rosé wine (Weissherbst) to blend with mineral water to then be called 'Weissherbstschorle'. Often it is made as a light red wine, low in alcohol and tannins and not too high acidity. 

I usually keep a bottle at home for a certain friend who prefers a roséschorle over most other wines. You can buy this one for 3,95 €/l here.

However, as I am not particularly interested in this variety, I do find it amazing that it is the 2nd important red wine grape in the Pfalz. That is one of the reasons why the Pfalzwein-Werbung (the agency that is marketing our region and its wines) announced the Portugieser as grape variety of the year 2012. With 2000 hectares, the Pfalz has the largest plantings of it in Germany, although the numbers are declining. 

A good chance to go and try different Portugieser wines is the local winefair in Bad Dürkheim, end of March.

Last year, I got to try real intense and dense wines of this grape, which was a true surprise to me. Frank Meyer from the Stiftweingut in Klingenmünster (Südliche Weinstrasse) offers some Portugieser that has been aging in barrique barrels for 36 months. I hope to get there some day to learn more about winery and wines. 

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