Vila Nova de Gaia

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Vila Nova de Gaia, or Gaia New Town, cramped, cobbled suburb on the opposite side of the douro estuary from the Portuguese city of oporto where port is traditionally aged. From the waterfront, long, single-storey buildings called lodges rise in steps up the hillside. Under the clay-tiled roofs, shippers mature their stocks of port, as well as tasting, blending, bottling, and selling it. Until 1986, the law required that all port destined for export had to be shipped from within the strictly defined area of the Gaia entrepôt. Port may now be shipped from anywhere within the demarcated Douro region so that export markets are open to small firms, quintas, and co-operatives without premises in Vila Nova de Gaia.