The world of wines is full of diversity and passion, where each bottle is the translation of a story told by the soil, by the grape varieties and by the hands of those who worked there to bring the best wines to life. In this context, the grape varieties play a fundamental role in defining the character and quality of each wine, each one expressing its particularities in a unique way.
On a journey through elegant flavors and aromas, two varieties emerge that arouse interest and curiosity, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. Although they share similarities, these grape varieties have unique characteristics that shape wines in different ways.
Touriga Nacional is considered the queen of Portugal, standing out for its nobility, aromatic complexity and excellent aging potential. Originating in Dão and currently spread across the most diverse terroirs in the country, Touriga Nacional has found its definitive home in the majestic Douro Valley. Despite being a 100% Portuguese variety, Touriga Nacional is also cultivated in several countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Spain and New Zealand. What distinguishes it from other varieties is its exuberant aromatic intensity, which often has notes of violets, wild fruits and spices. In addition to this potential, Touriga Nacional is recognized for its firm structure of tannins, giving the wines an admirable longevity. Touriga Nacional grapes are also used for the production of Port Wine, allowing Vintage Ports, for example, to evolve well over the years.
In turn, Touriga Franca (or French) also has a prominent place in Portuguese viticulture. Contrary to what many believe, this grape is not of French origin, but from Portugal, and is often associated with the Douro region. This variety is highly coveted for its incredible versatility and contribution to the smoothness of port and table wines. Touriga Franca offers its wines notes ranging from ripe red fruits to delicate floral touches of roses and mild spices. The main factor that differentiates it from other varieties is its early maturation, being especially valuable in regions where the climate, for example, can be challenging.
We thus see differences between these two Portuguese varieties, with three main ones standing out: the aromatic profile, the tannin structure and maturation. While Touriga Nacional is marked by intense and deep aromas, Touriga Franca tends to exhibit smoother and more delicate profiles, although it also presents, in some wines, a firmer structure, making it ideal for blends. In addition, another striking difference centers on the fact that Touriga Nacional has robust tannins, giving a dense body and excellent aging potential to its wines. In contrast, Touriga Franca offers well-balanced and somewhat less intense tannins. Maturation is also a factor that differentiates these two varieties, since, due to the fact that Touriga Franca matures earlier than Touriga Nacional, it allows the production of more balanced wines.
In many cases, the union of these two grapes proved to be a success. Combining the sophistication of Touriga Franca with the nobility of Touriga Nacional can give rise to true works of art, complex and attractive, which harmonize power and smoothness in perfect balance. Pacheca Vale de Abraão is the ideal example. This noble wine, obtained from grapes of the Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional varieties, has a deep violet color, as well as fruity aromas with clear notes of ripe black fruit, such as blueberry and blackcurrant. On the palate, it has great freshness and a very persistent finish, perfect for toasting life's special moments.
Are you ready to discover this richness of the Douro?!