Blauer Portugieser

Blauer Portugieser, also known simply as Portugieser, is a red wine grape variety that has its origins in Central Europe. Here is a comprehensive description covering various aspects of Blauer Portugieser:

History of Origin:

  • Blauer Portugieser is believed to have originated in the Danube region, specifically in Austria, although its exact origins are not well-documented. It is thought to be a crossing of an unknown grape variety with the Pinot Noir grape.

Region of Origin:

  • The grape is primarily associated with Austria, where it has been cultivated for centuries. It is also found in neighboring countries such as Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. In recent years, plantings of Blauer Portugieser have spread to other wine regions around the world.

Origin of Name:

  • The name “Blauer Portugieser” translates to “Blue Portuguese” in German, suggesting a connection to Portugal. However, there is no historical evidence supporting a direct link to Portugal, and the name might have originated due to a mistaken association or simply as a marketing strategy.

Cultivation Regions:

  • Blauer Portugieser is well-suited to cool-climate regions and is often grown in vineyards with a continental climate. In Austria, it is found in several wine regions, including Carnuntum, Thermenregion, and Wachau. It is also cultivated in Germany’s Pfalz and Rheinhessen regions.

Characteristics of the Variety:

  • Vine: Blauer Portugieser vines are vigorous and relatively easy to cultivate. They produce high yields, making them attractive to growers.
  • Berries: The grapes are medium-sized with thin skins, and they have a characteristic blue color, which gives the variety its name.
  • Ripening: Blauer Portugieser typically has an early ripening cycle, making it one of the first red grapes to be harvested in a given season.

Characteristics of the Wine:

  • Color: The wine produced from Blauer Portugieser is generally light to medium-bodied with a ruby-red color.
  • Aromas: It often exhibits fruity aromas, with notes of cherries, raspberries, and sometimes a hint of spiciness.
  • Taste: The wine is known for its soft and approachable nature, with low to moderate tannins. It is often described as easy-drinking and suitable for early consumption.
  • Acidity: Blauer Portugieser wines typically have moderate acidity, contributing to their refreshing character.

Uses in Blends:

  • Blauer Portugieser is sometimes used in blends, particularly in Austria, where it might be blended with other red varieties such as Zweigelt.


Blauer Portugieser, despite its somewhat misleading name, has found a place in the viticultural landscape of Central Europe. Its ease of cultivation and ability to produce accessible, fruit-forward wines make it a popular choice for both winemakers and wine enthusiasts in the regions where it is grown.

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