Today, there are two different ways of making a Douro wine. The traditional method, where the grapes are trod in a "lagar" – a wide, shallow granite tank – produces wines with more colour and tannins which, generally speaking, improves their potential for ageing. On the other hand, there is a more modern method that has risen in popularity, where the wines are made in stainless steel tanks under controlled temperatures. The later wines are more elegant and the aromas of the wine are better preserved. Some winemakers use both winemaking techniques in order to obtain more complex wines.
There have also been changes in the manner by which these wines are aged before they are bottled. Traditionally, the wines were aged in large wooden vats although these are being gradually replaced by oak casks or by stainless steel tanks.