For most winemakers in Austria, Blauer Portugieser is an easy, filler, grape, used in blends or for house wines. We don't buy these, we buy from people who give the grape the same attention as the nobler grapes to make delicious wines.
Blauer Portugieser vines give prolific yields and give simple, light-bodied wines. A medium ruby colour with a fruity, grape juice kind of nose. There are also some aromas of plum and red cherry. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with low tannins and with acidity on the lower side of medium. On the palate, it tastes of grape with some cherry and raspberry fruit.
The variety's naturally low levels of acidity mean that traditionally Portugieser wines were meant to be drunk in their youth and considered not suited to long-term cellaring (but 5 to 10 years is fine). Just as with Swiss Chasselas there's no reason this cannot change.
Although popular for its generous harvests, the variety has poor disease resistance (mildew and grey rot are a particular concern) and requires careful maintenance in the vineyard.
Despite the suggestion of the grape's name of having a Portuguese origin, ampelographers have uncovered little evidence to suggest that this is the case. It is often said that the Austrian, Johann von Fries, brought it from Oporto to his estates near Voslau in 1772. Until recently and for that reason, it was called Kékoportó in Hungary. There is evidence to indicate that by the 19th century, the grape was widely established in Austria and that it was then that cuttings were brought to Germany.