The shape of its bunch is small and compact, with an average weight that does not exceed 250 grams, which provides an excellent ratio between the pulp and the skin of the grapes, contributing to a greater concentration of aromatic compounds, and giving a unique intensity to its wines.
Touriga Nacional is able to adapt to different types of terroirs, being present in continental soils and also in the Portuguese islands. Its origin is still debated, going back to the Dão region, where before phylloxera (a plague that attacked the vineyards at the end of the 19th century and destroyed the plantation areas), it had the largest cultivation area. This variety gained the name “Touriga” due to the city of Tourigo, in Viseu. Afterwards, it began to develop in the Douro region, where it currently has a larger planting area and, consequently, greater prominence. Although it is a versatile variety, Touriga Nacional has a strong identity and thrives, above all, in poor and well-drained soils, such as the schist soils of the Douro slopes and the granitic sands of the Dão region, expressing all its aromatic and structural potential. . In addition to these two main regions, Touriga Nacional is cultivated from North to South of the country.
One of its most striking points is its excellent aging potential. Over the years, its wines evolve and gain complexity and elegance. The tannins present in the variety soften, while the aromas develop, revealing light layers of ripe fruit, floral notes and spices. Its noble art of aging allows it to mature in a remarkable way, perfecting its complex characteristics and resulting in wines that are true masterpieces.
Touriga has a long maturation cycle and a great aptitude for resistance to pests, such as bacteria and fungi, and resists well to climatic adversities. However, in excessive temperatures, this variety can be very sensitive to the scalding of its leaves, compromising its ripening process. This combination of late ripening, climate adaptation and hardiness makes Touriga Nacional a truly outstanding and promising variety in the wine world.
Also, Touriga Nacional is an excellent companion for a variety of typical Portuguese dishes. Known for its expressiveness and intensity, it is able to provide good gastronomic experiences. This grape harmonizes perfectly with grilled or roasted red meat, and even with game dishes such as wild boar or partridge, as its intensity and tannins, softened by ripening, balance perfectly with the meat. In addition, in vegetarian options, this grape harmonizes with national iconic cheeses, such as Serra da Estrela cheeses, and dishes based on legumes.
Touriga Nacional is also one of the most used varieties for the production of Port wines, giving structure and complexity to Vintage and LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) Ports. As a curiosity, this grape is also grown abroad, precisely in Spain, Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand, where it gains international notoriety and further enhances the potential of Portuguese wines.
Of the almost 300 varieties existing in Portugal, Touriga Nacional is, in fact, the most valued and internationally known, representing Portugal's wine identity abroad.
This noble variety, cultivated in special soils and aged with mastery, is truly an oenological treasure on Portuguese soil. Its aromas and its full-bodied structure place it on a high level, being considered the most appreciated by the Portuguese. Its wines are capable of taking us on a true sensory journey, full of unique flavors and captivating aromas.