Rabelo Boat
See 'Barco Rabelo'.
In 1756 the Marquis of Pombal, then Prime Minister of Portugal, laid out the boundaries of the vineyard area within which Port was allowed to be made. The following year, the first comprehensive classification of the Port vineyards was carried out . Those producing the finest wines, known as vinhos de feitoria, were allowed to sell their wines for export and demand a higher price, whilst those making wines of more modest quality, called ramos or vinhos de ramo, were restricted to the domestic market.
A roga is a team of grape pickers. A large Port estate contracts the services of a roga to carry out the harvest. If traditional wine making is practised, members of the roga also tread the grapes. Rogas usually come from towns or villages located some distance from the estate and often from outside the Douro Valley. The roga is provided with accomodation and meals on the estate for the duration of the harvest. The roga is led by the rogador, the person who recruits and leads the team and negotiates its contract with the owner of the property. On some estates, such as Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas, the same roga returns every year. At the end of every harvest, there is traditionally a party at which the roga presents the owner of the estate with the ramo, a kind of wreath usually constructed of two pieces of cane tied in a cross and decorated with coloured tissue paper, tinsel and two bunches of grapes, one red and one white. The roga usually brings musicians with it to enliven the treading. Traditionally the the music is played on an accordion, triangle and drum. Music is never played during the corte, the disciplined first phase of treading when the treaders work as a team, but starts up as soon as liberdade is declared and pickers are free to work individually.
'Ruby' is the term used to describe the deep red colour of a young Port. With age, a Port's ruby hue will gradually evolve into a paler, browner colour known as 'tawny'. Ports which have retained their ruby colour are likely still to be fruity and vigorous in character. See also 'Tawny'.