Tinta Cao

Classic aromas of Tinta Cao are: Baked Strawberries, Wild Raspberry, Black Cherry, Black Plum and Liquorice


Tinta Cao, a high quality red grape varietal, has a very long heritage in northern Portugal. It has led many experts into thinking that it is the oldest grape varietal of all Portugal. It is principally known for its contribution to the beautiful fortified wines of Port in the Douro Valley. In recent decades, it has also been making noise as a fantastic single varietal red in the central Portuguese region of Dao.

One of the unique aspects of Tinta Cao, which makes it so prized amongst the winemakers and viticulturists of the Douro Valley, is its femineity. This along with its natural acidity retention, which enables its extended ageing potential, gives this grape great success and favour.

In the Dao region, just south of the Douro Valley, Tinta Cao is becoming more favoured as a single varietal red wine. This said, there are some truly stunning examples and some shocking ones – it is still a work in progress but it is quickly getting to a point of brilliance. It isn’t just in Portugal where this wonderous grape is seeing the spotlight though, Australia and California both have very small plantings which will hopefully prove to create fantastic reds and Port-styled wines in the years to come.

Tinta Cao produces wines that have a deep ruby complexion which matches the aromatics found on the nose and palate. Wild raspberry, baked strawberry, black and red florals along with juicy damsons and liquorice notes can be found in leading examples. It is the elegance and acidity found on the palate, though, which gives this its shining grace and freshness so admired by leading Portuguese winemakers.


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