Vinha ao alto
In places where the gradient allows, vines in the Douro Valley can be planted in vertical rows running perpendicularly up the hillside, a technique perfected in recent years and known as vinha ao alto. Advances in drainage and erosion avoidance techniques have allowed an increasing number of vineyards to be planted in this way, rather than on terraces, and vertical planting is now used by Taylor’s as a matter of course on gradients of up to about 30%. Vertical planting has several advantages including better leaf canopy exposure.
Vinha Velha
Vinha velha is the name given to a vineyard containing very old vines. One of the most famous of these is the old vineyard at Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas which contains many vines over a century old. This historic vineyard produces the very rare Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port.
Vinification is the process of turning grape juice into wine. In the case of Port,it involves crushing the grapes to release the juice and allow fermentation to begin, ensuring that the skins are kept in contact with the fermenting wine and then stopping the fermentation by adding brandy.
Vintage Character
The term Vintage Character was used in the past to describe a style of full bodied fruity red Port which, although not the produce of a single year, shared some of the taste and flavour characteristics of a Vintage Port. The term is no longer used today as it is deemed to be confusing for the consumer. The wines that this term describes are referred to today as Reserve Ports or Reserve Rubies. Examples are Taylor's Select Reserve and Taylor's First Estate Reserve.