The current Portuguese system of classification was introduced following entry into the EU in 1986 and bears much similarity to the French, Italian and Spanish classification systems. The principal aim of the system is to provide a way for the buyer to assess the wine in the bottle and therefore afford some certainty and confidence to the buyer as to the quality, age and origin of the wine.
Our wines are either the top category, Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC), Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada or Vinho Regional. There are 11 Vinho Regional demarcations in mainland Portugal within which there are 25 DOCs.
The Denominação de Origem Controlada demarcation is the most specific and provides the highest level of certification of the origin of the grapes which in turn indicates the highest quality of wine.
Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada is the second level. Wines at this level are aspiring to become DOC and therefore have to have special characteristics plus meet all the DOC rules for a period of five years before they can attain DOC status.
The Vinho Regional demarcation certifies the regional origin of the grapes. There are 11 Vinho Regionals zones in Portugal, and each region is controlled by a Regional Winegrowing Commission (CVR) which inspects and certifies the grapes’ source and quality. A numbered CVR stamp of certification should be visible on the back label of any certified Regional Wine.