Following the harvest, wines are kept over the winter in the Douro then are sent Vila Nova de Gaia for aging.
Wood-Aged Ports are Ports that are aged in contact with oxygen in small seasoned oak barrels (pipes) or larger seasoned oak vats.
Bottle-Aged Ports are Ports that are bottled when young and are then aged in the cellar in bottles with a driven cork. They mature more slowly than wines in barrel.
Over the years, the master blender personally evaluates each lot. He then begins to make trial blends and sketch out plans for each individual barrel. The winemaker will determine if the wines are destined to become vintage, ruby, or tawny ports.