The Douro wine region takes its name from the Douro River, flowing from its source in north-central Spain (under the name Duero) across northern Portugal to its outlet at Porto, on the Atlantic Coast. Known as the vinhateiro, this glorious winegrowing region was the first in the world to have a formal demarcation (under the 1756 Portuguese charter protecting Port wine)
and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. The Douro River valley vinhateiro is sheltered from Atlantic winds by the Marão and Montemuro mountains and has a continental, hot climate with hot dry summers and cold winters. Terraced vineyards line the steep, rugged riverbanks, subdivided into three subregions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.