Tinta Barroca

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Tinta Barroca, common, relatively thick-skinned port grape variety which is the third most planted in Portugal’s douro Valley, mainy for port, and grown on a total of 5,444 ha/13,447 acres of Portuguese vineyard in 2012. It is favoured by growers for yielding large quantities of grapes with exceptionally high levels of sugar and is widely planted on higher or north-facing slopes. However, Barroca is prone to both mildews and is easily damaged by extreme heat and the berries have a tendency to shrivel on the vine. By no means as highly prized as the other leading port grapes, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Barroca produces reasonably well-structured but slightly jammy, rustic wines which can be useful in a blend. In Portugal, Tinta Barroca is rarely used as a varietal but it has been one of the most popular varieties for fortified port-like wines in South Africa’s vineyards, and full-throttle, unfortified varietal Tinta Barroca dry(ish) red (sometimes misspelt and referred to as Tinta Barocca or Tinta das Baroccas) is a speciality in South Africa where there were 215 ha in 2012.