Why Port Wine Is Made By Stomping Grapes | Regional Eats

By Brian Lemay 70 comments

Claudia Romeo: Hello from
the Douro Valley in Portugal, where we’re going to find
out how port wine is made. Today we’re going to visit Taylor’s, which is one of the top wine houses here in Portugal producing port wine. Port is a very special
wine, not only because, unlike other wines, it’s very sweet, but also because it retains
a lot of the human element. For example, we are going
to see how traditional foot treading is done,
which is a very important and traditional part of
the making of port wine and is very much done by hand.
Or, we should say, by foot. So, why is this method still being used? And how did this contribute to making port one of the most popular
wines in the world? David Guimaraens: Port
wine is a fortified wine. And what differentiates
port from a normal wine is that we will take the grapes, and if you were to make a
red wine from these grapes, you would let all of
your sugar be transformed into alcohol, and the
final alcohol of the wine is the result of the
initial sugar in the grape. In a port wine, we will
take the same grapes, start fermenting, and
when half of the sugar has been converted to alcohol,
we will run off the juice. And we will add a neutral grape spirit, which will kill the yeast. So the sweetness in the glass of port is the natural sugar from the grape. And the wine alcohol,
the spirit that we use, is there to raise your port
to an alcohol level of 20%, where it is stable and
has the ability to age. And that’s what differentiates port as a wine style to other wines. Claudia: Although port wine bears the name of the seaport city of Porto, it is actually in the steep
hillsides of the Douro Valley in northern Portugal that it
has been made for centuries. The region was legally demarcated by the Portuguese government in 1756, meaning that authentic
port can only be made here. David: The Douro Valley is characterized for being a region of mountain
viticulture in hot climate. The summer temperatures are very high. We get up to 40 degrees
centigrade on a regular basis. And our winters are cold. We have low rainfall, so it’s very arid. And it is these conditions that leads to the vineyards of the grapes we produce producing naturally high sugar levels and a lot of concentration of color. Most of them are local,
indigenous grape varieties. Names like Touriga Francesa,
Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão. These are varieties which are naturally very drought-resistant and resist to these very,
very tough conditions. Claudia: Wines from the
Douro Valley used to be transported in barrels on boats through the Douro River
all the way to Porto, where they would eventually
sail to the rest of Europe, in particular to England, which Portugal has held strong trading links
with since the 14th century. Adrian Bridge: Really, the
big break, if you like, for Port happened where because Britain, which was the main importing market, had, through various conflicts with intercontinental Europe,
particularly France, found that it was putting
high taxes on French wine. So wines from Portugal were
being exported to the UK. They became very popular. And then of course as the
UK itself became a nation that was expanding out across
the world with its empire, it took the habit of drinking port with it to many corners of the world. Claudia: Taylor’s is one of
the founding port houses, established in 1692. It owns 500 hectares of
vineyards in the Douro Valley. We visited Quinta de Vargellas,
one of the company’s most prestigious estates and home
to some of its finest ports. Every September, a group of grape pickers from the villages of the Douro Valley is recruited to do the harvest. They are paid, fed, and get
accommodation at the Quinta. The pickers start working
at 8 a.m. in the vines, where they pick grapes by hand. At sunset, they move indoors
to press the grapes by foot. David: These are what we call a lagar, which is a granite fermenter. This is where we do the traditional method of foot treading to produce our port. One of the beauties of foot treading and using this very simple process is that your foot is
doing an intense action of taking the color out of the skins, but at the same time it’s very soft. So you extract what’s good, and you leave behind
what is more aggressive. And that is so difficult to replicate in any mechanical means. And that’s why we continue to use it. Claudia: The treaders move
in unison and in silence, except for the marcador,
who marks the time. After two hours, the
“Canção da Liberdade,” or “Song of Freedom,” marks the beginning of the second stage. [singing] Treaders now move freely
to the sound of music, which goes on for another few hours. Less labor-intensive
fermentation techniques have been invented, like
these fermentation tanks that replicate the
action of foot treading. But to make the finest
ports, like vintages, the traditional method is still preferred. After treading, the
wine stays in the lagars for two or three days to ferment. Wooden plungers are used
to keep the grape skins in constant contact with
the extracted juice. When half of the natural
sugar of the grape has fermented and turned into alcohol, the juice is drawn out and fortified with a natural grape spirit, which raises the alcohol level to 20%. At this stage, the
winemakers don’t know yet which style of port the
wine is going to be. It will be decided in
January after the wine has rested for six months in wooden vats. The winemakers will then taste it, and, depending on the chosen style, the wine will age differently in the company’s cellars in Porto. Adrian: One of the most
exciting things about port is that from the same vineyards you can actually produce
incredibly different styles. So if you age it in large wooden vats, vats with 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 liters, you have this large volume of liquid, very little surface area of wood. And you retain all this big,
fresh, berry fruit flavors. The black currant, the blackberries. If you put it in a small
cask, 660 liters in size, you have a large surface area of wood and very little volume of wine. And so as a result what
happens is evaporation; the wines concentrate down,
they lose color into the wood, and you end up with aged tawnies. But our most premium style
of port is vintage port. And that’s one that we put
in a bottle after two years, and it lives the rest
of its life in a bottle. And those are some of the longest-lived and some of the most
fantastic wines in the world. So, from the same vineyard,
the same making process, the aging taking place here in Porto creates these incredibly
interesting styles. Claudia: Port international trade history, in particular with the British Empire, has led to all the countries
producing port-style wines. And while regulations
ensure that no other wine is labeled as port within
the European Union, it may not be the case in
other countries, like the US. So how do you spot authentic
port from the Douro Valley? Look for the seal either around the neck or on the back of the bottle, which represents port’s
official certifying body. David: Can we give them music?
Claudia: Yes, yes we can.


notourious r6

Oct 10, 2019, 4:00 pm Reply



Oct 10, 2019, 4:01 pm Reply

Lol xd


Oct 10, 2019, 4:01 pm Reply

Wine with foot fungus/ foot and leg hair/ toe jam

Jimins Jams

Oct 10, 2019, 4:04 pm Reply

that's gross af

Hemet Chan doesn’t like double sided homework

Oct 10, 2019, 4:05 pm Reply

That looks like a fun little dance

its_ Gift

Oct 10, 2019, 4:06 pm Reply

NAAAA, this is disgusting, can't you just blended

dale yco

Oct 10, 2019, 4:06 pm Reply

do they use overripe grapes (l presume overripe because they are wrinkly already) because it has higher sugar content?

워킹푸드 Korean Street food

Oct 10, 2019, 4:07 pm Reply

stepped on grapes to make wine, I saw it on TV!

Vinny Tran

Oct 10, 2019, 4:09 pm Reply

Burger King Foot Lettuce: Wine Edition

Jo Jofenhëim

Oct 10, 2019, 4:10 pm Reply

Portugal : Stomping on grapes to make wine

Indonesia : Stomping on tomatoes to make sauce


Passion for food

Oct 10, 2019, 4:10 pm Reply

That's nasty dude. But p perhaps this is just not the right PORT of call for me 😋

jay s

Oct 10, 2019, 4:10 pm Reply

Just imagine the dirt inside those foot nails

Rockstar Eater

Oct 10, 2019, 4:12 pm Reply

Left out on the editing floor: The stompers swim in circles in the juice 😏

Where can i sign up for this job?


Oct 10, 2019, 4:14 pm Reply

Oh my god, this is disgusting a cesspool of apes stomping grapes with their feet, and soaking thighs with shit crusts and hairs whatever part from pubes falling on my drink. Luckily I don't do alcohol.

Shreya Chauhan

Oct 10, 2019, 4:15 pm Reply


Sancho G

Oct 10, 2019, 4:17 pm Reply

My crusty toenails would certainly add some flavour.

Noor Sattar

Oct 10, 2019, 4:18 pm Reply

That's discusting stomping on grapes

feline miow

Oct 10, 2019, 4:18 pm Reply

That was very interesting, I love red wine but not tried Port, I would try it though, mind you after 4 hours in arid atmosphere I don't fancy lots of sweaty feet stamping up and down on it lol I would hope the alcohol would kill off any nasties! 😂 😂 😂

Amy Piero

Oct 10, 2019, 4:18 pm Reply

Does the alcohol content kill all the foot bacteria? 😬

Balukbok Channel

Oct 10, 2019, 4:18 pm Reply

Im early for comments hahaja. Love it.

Jewel Life

Oct 10, 2019, 4:19 pm Reply

Nice now I know more why drinking this is not allowed in my realign in Islam .. Thank you Allah for protecting me

Foodie Lah!

Oct 10, 2019, 4:19 pm Reply

Somethings are better left unknown.

Tzwac dastag

Oct 10, 2019, 4:22 pm Reply

It's not just sweat that gets mixed, but Germs also

Ahmad Zubair

Oct 10, 2019, 4:23 pm Reply


GamingW/mo Polo

Oct 10, 2019, 4:23 pm Reply

Wow that is absloutly distgusting all the bacteria from the feet and leg will fill the wine up with distgusting bacteria’s that will get u Ill


Oct 10, 2019, 4:25 pm Reply

Mind as well swim in there lol

Saṃsāra’s Light

Oct 10, 2019, 4:25 pm Reply

I'm never drinking wine again.

adela mae

Oct 10, 2019, 4:25 pm Reply

i mean toe fungus 🌚


Oct 10, 2019, 4:25 pm Reply

Guys relax, it's probably cooked, chilled, and strained to get rid of all the gross icky bacteria.

Plus they probably have strict restrains for the people who foot mash the grapes

Jade Cummings

Oct 10, 2019, 4:26 pm Reply

That's reminds me when I watched any movies or TV shows.

Brittany Edwards

Oct 10, 2019, 4:31 pm Reply

Seeing people stomping, thinking about the bacteria…😨😰😨

Braian Galdo

Oct 10, 2019, 4:31 pm Reply

Wine with a hint of fungi


Oct 10, 2019, 4:31 pm Reply

Beer it is then


Oct 10, 2019, 4:31 pm Reply

Stomping grapes 🍇 are all feet clean? Then they charge you hundreds for a bottle …😂🤣😂🤣🤣😂

Aeman Akhtar

Oct 10, 2019, 4:33 pm Reply

Wine my foot 😂 ..

Nathan Roberts

Oct 10, 2019, 4:33 pm Reply

Alcohol is a disinfectant. It will kill any bacteria you might get from the foot stomping process.


Oct 10, 2019, 4:34 pm Reply

They should put some sort of special latex sock to cover their 🦶feet & up to their knees ….saw a guy with hair on his legs … 🤦🏾‍♀️

Fingering Things

Oct 10, 2019, 4:35 pm Reply

“I’ll start off with some wine”

waiter stomps some grapes

Fingering Things

Oct 10, 2019, 4:35 pm Reply

America: Stomps on Burger King lettucd

Fingering Things

Oct 10, 2019, 4:35 pm Reply

I’ll have some foot fungus with my wine please

muhd nurfikri

Oct 10, 2019, 4:38 pm Reply

imagine sweats from those legs

Mary Angel Grace Bernaldez

Oct 10, 2019, 4:40 pm Reply

I can imagine all the dead skin cells from their feet and legs


Oct 10, 2019, 4:40 pm Reply

This is so unhygienic!

Nam Pham

Oct 10, 2019, 4:43 pm Reply

So terrible

*GOMES* !!

Oct 10, 2019, 4:45 pm Reply

Yo the people take a bath and clean their feet and legs before stomping on the grapes, and cover their hair
(even not appearing in the video they do it)

سبحان الله

Oct 10, 2019, 4:46 pm Reply

No pork no alcohol,, day by day I find more reasons to why it is not allowed for us Muslims,, I think jews too.. this gota be among the most discussing things I’ve ever seen


Oct 10, 2019, 4:47 pm Reply

WAIT WAIT WAIT.. so there's no cleaning process after CHEESE TOES??

قاهر شحادين اللايكات

Oct 10, 2019, 4:50 pm Reply

if they make it this way in syria it would be the hair wine


Oct 10, 2019, 4:50 pm Reply

That’s nasty….toe jam, fungal infection, toe hair adds to the twang of the port flavour

Avery the Cuban-American

Oct 10, 2019, 4:54 pm Reply

This is giving me I Love Lucy vibes


Oct 10, 2019, 4:55 pm Reply

They made sure to let you get a good look at the chick in the grey shorts. Thanks.

Nissi ASMR

Oct 10, 2019, 4:57 pm Reply

What's new?

Pushkar Ballal

Oct 10, 2019, 5:03 pm Reply

So it's just grape juce added in alcohol with feet juice

Seann Kenji

Oct 10, 2019, 5:05 pm Reply


Corleone Shawdy

Oct 10, 2019, 5:07 pm Reply

How good do ppl really wash their feet or legs 🤨

dominusophia cr

Oct 10, 2019, 5:08 pm Reply

So when Asian countries using hands without hand gloves when making food, it's dirty & it's ewwww but when the European country using legs & suddenly it's all ok…wow..

Mikaela Hyakuya

Oct 10, 2019, 5:17 pm Reply

Imagine someone getting cut by a long toe nail wine is ruined🤣

Debbie Bloodworth

Oct 10, 2019, 5:28 pm Reply

👄🍾🍷🥂"OPA" I should have been there for the smashing of the grapes a.k.a "foot threading"🤗

Samin Samin

Oct 10, 2019, 5:28 pm Reply

so disgusting ever… !!!!!!


Oct 10, 2019, 5:34 pm Reply

Fungal toes

Jack Rodarte

Oct 10, 2019, 5:44 pm Reply

The moment she said "it retains the human element" I knew I'd never try this shit in my life


Oct 10, 2019, 5:47 pm Reply

I hoped they all shaved there legs.


Oct 10, 2019, 5:47 pm Reply

I will stick to may Kool Aid and Vodka mix thank you!


Oct 10, 2019, 6:10 pm Reply

It’s because the gunk and fungus around the toe-nails help with the fermentation


Oct 10, 2019, 6:16 pm Reply

Until you get leg hair in there and you have regrets.

밥안사.1분 요리교실

Oct 10, 2019, 6:18 pm Reply

Very interesting video 👍👍


Oct 10, 2019, 6:23 pm Reply

Who likes to drink red wine? 🙂

Susan Darby

Oct 10, 2019, 6:32 pm Reply

Note to self: Never drink port wine.

Mack V

Oct 10, 2019, 6:42 pm Reply

Feet add that good funk too it

Laura Scott

Oct 10, 2019, 6:49 pm Reply

All I can focus on is people's hair swinging around while they stomp. Not to mention leg hair, skin flakes, small cuts. You wouldn't drink from a glass that the waiter had accidentally put his finger in.

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