No wine has any right to be called “Port ” unless it fulfils the three conditions laid down by the Portuguese Law of 1915, namely :
1. A fortified wine.
2. Produced in the Douro region as demarcated by law.
3. Exported over the Bar of Oporto.
In the preparation of Port, after the grapes are picked and pressed the resulting grape juice is in a state of fermentation, but this is only allowed to continue to a limited extent, when it is checked by the incorporation of Brandy distilled from wine of the country. The result is wine of which such Brandy has become an inherent ingredient.
During the spring following the vintage the newly made wines are sent down the River Douro to Oporto, where they are stored in warehouses or lodges.
If of sufficient body, flavour and quality, the wine is shipped to England as ” Vintage ” Port about two years after the vintage, to be bottled and laid down soon after arrival by the wine merchant for consumption several years afterwards.
In years other than ” Vintage ” years the wine remains stored in cask in the lodges at Oporto. It develops much more rapidly in cask, gradually loses colour, is refreshed from time to time with wine kept in reserve for that purpose, and is finally shipped as ” Tawny ” or ” Ruby ” Port from the wood, as the case may be.
From the Book “Harry” of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails by Harry MacElhone, London, 1921.