Red, white, green, rosé, muscatel, champagne: wine, that is nothing more than an alcoholic drink that is formed from the juice of fermented grapes, has a major role in the life of the portuguese people. Vineyard cultivation in Portugal is first attributed to the Tartessus tribe, a people that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula around 2000 a.C and that maintained comercial relation with eastern and southern mediterranean peoples. However, archaeological traces suggest that wine was already known long before. The diversity of the portuguese wines started with the introduction of new varieties, brought by the phoenicians, greeks and celts. Later, during the Roman Empire, the wine industry grew and suffered a huge modernization process: new species spread and cultivation and production techniques were perfected. The wine’s cultural weight was already so much that not even the long centuries of muslim occupation were enough to diminish its importance.
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