Making Port-Style Wine: Tips from the Pros

Port is a fortified wine made in Portugal, but many North American winemakers are making their own versions. Use their advice to try your own Port-style wine! Winemaker: Matt Meyer, Meyer Family Cellars, Yorkville, California For Port wines we are big fans of Syrah and have had good results with it, but I find the most exciting variety to be Petite Sirah. Color and tannin can be an issue due to the limited time we have on skins, but Petite handles this as well as adding a bit of acid. We have tried the traditional Portuguese varieties but have found, at least with the vineyard we have worked with, that the fruit is lacking and the brandy ends up dominating the aromas. We pick our grapes close to 23 °Brix. Most people are exposed to extremely sweet Ports, but if you travel to Portugal you will find some that are almost dry and everything in between. While ours is still sweet it is on the lower end and I find the additional acid that we capture helps balance the wine.