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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Trás-os-Montes, large dop in north-east Portugal. Meaning ‘behind the mountains’, Trás-os-Montes is bounded by high mountains on one side and the Spanish frontier on the other (see map of portugal). The mountains which isolate Trás-os-Montes from the rest of Portugal cast a rain shadow over the region, although it becomes progressively more arid towards Spain. With varied microclimates and soil types (mostly schist, but the region also has granite and calcareous soils) Trás-os-Montes has three DOP subregions, from west to east: Chaves, Valpaços, and Planalto Mirandês. Climatic extremes and poor soils make cultivation difficult, although farmers have been helped considerably by funds from the eu and the World Bank. Wine is an important commodity in Trás-os-Montes and there are more vineyards here than in any other part of Portugal: 69,000 ha/170,000 acres. However, as yields are low, both lisboa and tejo produce more wine. The high vineyards here, north of the douro Valley, also supply wine for mateus Rosé and a number of imitative brands. See also transmontano.