Portuguese American Journal

Book: ‘Foot Trodden: Portugal and the Wines that Time Forgot’ – Editor’s Note

Portugal’s rich wine culture dates back at least two millennia. Its vineyards teem with fascinating native grape varieties and its cellars harbor heritage wine styles and ancient techniques (including foot treading in stone troughs) that have died out elsewhere.

Foot Trodden is a book for everyone who loves a good story, wine, Portugal or modern social history―and for anyone who wants to dig deeper into Portuguese culture and the Portuguese soul. Written in an accessible, narrative style, this book is above all else about the people behind the wines: the challenges they faced, what drives them, and how they succeeded against the odds to put Portugal on the map.

With over 50 specially commissioned photos, beautiful layout and design, Foot Trodden is crammed full of detail and depth about the wines and winemaking, but it’s emphatically not a text book or a Master of Wine study guide. You don’t need to be a wine geek or a history nut to enjoy it―this book is written for everyone.

Through eight chapters, Foot Trodden takes you on a journey from north to south, from the past to the future. The diversity of characters, landscapes and wines will have you salivating for your next bottle of Portuguese wine―and dreaming of the moment when you visit these historic winemaking regions.


“[A] delightful grape-filled tour of the country … and a deep dive into the ancient art of talha winemaking, where grapes are crushed by foot, then fermented in large clay vessels that are eventually sealed over with a paste made of resin, olive oil, and beeswax. For those curious about the wider world of wine, this sweeping history will bear fruit.” — Publishers Weekly

 “Simon and Ryan are experts at hunting down the stories that link iconic winemakers and terroirs to history, politics, and culture. So who better to illuminate the secrets of Portugal’s little understood but compelling wines?” — Elin McCoy, Bloomberg/Decanter

“Mr. Woolf is an engaging writer with an excellent story to tell and an array of intriguing characters. He is precise, weighing in on the intersection of orange and natural wines, without being pedantic.”  Eric Asimov, New York Times on Amber Revolutions


About the Authors

Simon J. Woolf is a wine writer and award-winning author of Amber Revolution: How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine, winner of the Roederer Wine Book of the Year Award 2019 and selected New York Times Best Wine Book of 2018, Forbes magazine Notable Wine Book of 2018, and Star Tribune Great Wine Book 2018. He specializes in writing about the developing natural wine niche, including organic and biodynamic winemaking. He is the founder and editor of The Morning Claret and writes for the international wine press including Decanter magazine, Wine Business International, and Noble Rot. Simon recently authored The Wine Lover’s Bucket List: 1,000 Amazing Adventures in Pursuit of Wine, an inspirational compendium of ideas for global wine travel.

Ryan Opaz is an American, based in Porto, Portugal, who has been writing about and photographing the wines of Portugal and Spain for the past 15 years. Founder of the award winning wine blog Catavino.net and CEO of Catavino Tours, today he spends his days guiding travelers to the hidden culinary and vinous treasures of Portugal. Ryan was the photographer for Porto: Stories from Portugal’s Historic Bolhão Market, a book which celebrates the culinary history of Northern Portugal in words and pictures.


Book Details

Title: Foot Trodden: Portugal and the Wines that Time

Authors: Simon J. Woolf & Ryan Opaz

Publisher: Interlink Books

Publication date: November 10, 2021

Language: English

Hardcover: 256pp



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