Sometimes a photo doesn‚€™t need to show grapes, vines, barrels
or bottles to illustrate wine. While researching a column on the dry
wines of the Douro Valley in Portugal, I came across this photo I took
last July at Quinta do Noval. Something in the geometry
of this staircase attracted me when I snapped the pic, but looking at
it now, I see Douro terroir ‚€“ the schist stones blasted out of the
terraced vineyards and layered here speak of the mineral soil in which
the vines grow, while the narrow stairs up the steep wall illustrate the
dramatic slopes on which the vines are planted. And nary a grape in
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