Touriga National Wine Variety

Touriga nacional is best known as a variety for producing port and port style wines, but it is increasingly used to make table wines. In Australia the variety that is usually called Touriga is nearly always Touriga Nacional. There is another variety named Touriga Francesa, which is grown by Grey Sands Winery in Northern Tasmania's Tamar Valley.

In Californian wineries are more likely to be using Touriga Francesa when they talk about Touriga.

Unfortunately fortified wines are going out of fashion, and international naming rules which prevent Australian winemakers from calling fortified red wines "Port" are not helping.

But Touriga also makes good table wines.

The strong flavours of this variety can be captured in table wines. The Portuguese use it for this purpose in the Dao DOC, blended with other varieties.

In Australia several wineries are making varietal Touriga table wines. New clones of the variety with modestly higher yields are being introduced.

The challenge for winemakers is to control the tannins so that the wines can be enjoyed without excessively long aging.

Wineries in Australia with Touriga

919 Wines Riverland | Burge Family Winemakers Barossa Valley | Coates Wines McLaren Vale | First Drop Barossa Valley | Fyffe Field North East Victoria | Gapsted Alpine Valleys | Grey Sands* Northern Tasmania | Kaesler Barossa Valley | Kangderaar Vineyard Bendigo | Mansfield Wines Mudgee | Mazza Geographe | Myattsfield Vineyard and Winery Perth Hills | Norse Wines Queensland Coastal | Old Mill Estate Langhorne Creek | Paulmara Estate Barossa Valley | Peel Estate Peel | Pennyfield Wines Riverland | Pennyweight Winery Beechworth | Piano Piano Beechworth | Pondalowie Bendigo | Quattro Mano Barossa Valley | Red Edge Heathcote | Rimfire Vineyards Darling Downs | Rivendell Margaret River | SC Pannell McLaren Vale | Seppletsfield Barossa Valley | Sevenhill Wines Clare Valley | St Hallett Barossa Valley | Stanton and Killeen Wines Rutherglen | Starvedog Lane Adelaide Hills | Surveyor's Hill Winery Canberra | Toppers Mountain New England | Tscharke Barossa Valley | Vinterloper Adelaide Hills | Wagga Wagga Winery Riverina | Windsors Edge Hunter Valley | Woodonga Hill Hilltops | Yarra Yering Yarra Valley

*Note: Grey Sands uses Touriga Francesa, the others on this list use Touriga Nacional.

Touriga Nacional and Food

As a dry red Touriga goes well with charcoal-grilled meats, or even smoked meats. The earthy flavours of mushroom based dishes call for a well flavoured wine so they are ideal with this variety.

As a sweet white, Port style, combinations of cheese, especially strongly flavoured blue or sharp vintage cheddar and some dried fruit are called for. Maybe try with dark chocolate.

This book includes more suggestions for pairing unusual wine varieties including Touriga with food.

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