Day 14

It’s Port time! Buckle up because we are about to send a lot of information your way!

The saying is true that every wine holds a story that is just waiting to be
uncorked. However, a unique history will unfold as you taste the juice of the
oldest port wine house: Kopke. In 1636, Nicolau Kopke traveled from Hamburg
to the Douro Valley of Portugal where a marriage of his will and nature would
take place during the winemaking process. The production of the Kopke wines
has remained a family affair in Quinta Sao Luiz ever since with multiple
generations continuing to lead the company forward. The property has been
recognized as one of the most important in the Douro region for its soil quality
and strength of its vines. Definitely a winery to add to your itinerary if you ever
take a trip to Portugal!

Kopke often claims that their magnificent wines are “one-of-a-kind and
inimitable” due to their vineyards’ unique make-up of schist-sandstone soil
(referred to as “greywacke”) & moderate climate. Despite having all these
winning qualities, the vines of the Douro valley demand more maintenance yet
yield less fruit which leads to high production costs that would make the other
regions squirm in their grape stompers. The winery places a focus on the main
grape varieties of touriga nacional, touriga franca, tinta roriz and tinta
cao—-all vines classified as THE best of the region. These grapes are all
produced via a sustainable viticultural model that Kopke believes “allows us to
produce wine that is both ecologically responsible & economically viable” to
guarantee superior quality wine for decades to come.

We selected the Kopke Ruby Port for the advent calendars, but Port (a
fortified wine) comes in many shades like gold hued whites to the richer,
copper colored tawnys. Grapes for the Ruby are picked at their optimum
ripeness & vinified into a still wine before the addition of a neutral grape spirit
(often referred to as “brandy”, but it’s nothing like your traditional brandy) is
added to fortify the wine. The juice then undergoes different levels of
maturation in both stainless steel & oak barrels for a whooping three years!
The resulting wine is lively in character with a gorgeous garnet rim & a
balanced sweetness on the palate. We suggest serving it at a temperature of
54 to 47 degrees fahrenheit and pairing it with red fruit desserts such as
raspberry linzer cookies this holiday season.

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