Touriga Franca

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Touriga Franca (formerly known as Touriga Francesa) is the most widely planted grape variety in the douro Valley, accounting for around one-fifth of all vines, and is the more common of Portugal’s two Tourigas with a total of 14,357 ha/35,462 acres in 2012. Despite the name, it has no connection with France and has been shown by dna profiling to be the relatively recent progeny of the Douro varieties touriga nacional and marufo. On warmer south-facing slopes it is valued for both port and Douro wines. It is classified as one of the best port varieties, although the wine it produces is not as concentrated as that of Touriga Nacional and is more susecptible to rot. Favoured by growers for its consistent yields, it is respected by winemakers for its wines’ perfume and persistent fruit. It is also widely planted in trás-os-montes and is spreading to other Portuguese regions such as Lisboa, Tejo, and the Alentejo.