What do you know about Portugal's wine regions and its wines? Regarding the wine industry, Portugal has a lot more to offer than just Port Wine.
There is a lot that should be known about Portuguese wine regions and its wines. During the past few years, Portuguese wines have been gaining ground in terms of exportation and, consequently, reputation. The most famous Portuguese wine is, by far, Port Wine, but there are a lot more wines that deserve recognition throughout the world. Besides, in the last years, Portugal was among the most awarded countries alongside France, Italy, and Spain.
So let's find out more about Portugal's wine regions that produce great and delicious wines.
Vinho Verde Region
The Vinho Verde region is the largest in Portugal in which produces approximately 85 million liters of Vinho Verde every year. 86% of it is a white wine made primarily from the Alvarinho, Avesso, Azal, Arinto, Loureiro, and Trajadura grape varieties. Explore and discover Vinho Verde region and taste its awarded wines, like the amazing Aveleda wines.
You will see vineyards across a wide range of altitudes, in which this allows the production of a vast wine variety. The vineyards located in the cooler high altitude gives us light-bodied wines while the lower altitude region gives us full-bodied, highly alcoholic wines. One of its first wines to be internationally recognized was the semi-sweet, semi-sparkling wine known as rosado. Visit Trás-os-Montes, one of the most beautiful Portugal regions, and stay overnight in one of the most emblematic buildings in Portugal.
The Douro region is the oldest wine region in the world. The Douro Demarcated Wine Region dates back to 1756. It's at the heart of Douro where many of the top and awarded wines are produced. Up to about 90 km (56 mi) distance from the city of Porto, it was in the Douro that the Port Wine was born, which has become the main ambassador of the Portuguese wines. Moreover, in the last decades, the table wines from the incredible Douro Valley have been appreciated and have achieved worldwide notoriety. Discover the culture, gastronomy, and wine of the most emblematic places in the Douro.
Tavora-Varosa region's unique climate and soil conditions, with mostly granitic soils, poor in limestone, sometimes schist and acid, with marked erosion, with a continental dry temperate clime, harsh winters, make this a special region for the production of wines. Because of its altitude, 500 to 800 meters above sea level, and harsh winters, the grapes retain good acidity and fruit, and are perfect for production sparkling wines – indeed this was the first region in Portugal to be demarcated for sparkling wines, in 1989. Visit and try its gastronomy paired with these fantastic sparkling wines.
Bairrada region is a land of many and good wines, made with varieties of high quality, such as Baga, in the red wines, and Bical, in the white wines. Because it is near the sea, the climate is typically Atlantic, with mild and rainy winters, a hot but slightly windy summer. During the ripening period of the grapes, this region registers a great thermal amplitude, sometimes the difference reaches the 20ºC. This phenomenon is responsible for maintaining the acidity of the grapes, giving freshness to the wines that result from them. Discover Bairrada, consider one of the most beautiful love stories in the world.
Dão-Lafões region is located in a territory of the Centre Region, between the coast and the hinterland of the country region, where the varieties are diverse. Regarding the white ones, the most important are: Encruzado, Bical, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, Rabo de Ovelha e Verdelho. In the red ones (Tinto), in addition to Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen e Tinta Roriz, we also have the less known Baga, Bastardo, and Tinta Pinheira. The white wines are very aromatic, balanced, and fruity. The red ones are full-bodied, aromatic, and complex after aging in the bottle. Lafões is a small transition region, trapped between the denominations of Dão and Green Wine, cut by the Vouga river, with mainly granitic soils, where the white varieties of reference are Arinto, Cerceal, Dona Branca, Esgana Cão e Rabo de Ovelha, being the red dominated by the varieties Amaral and Jaen. Usually, the Lafões wines show some acidity, close to the neighbor designation of Green Wine. Visit, stay and explore this amazing region.
Beira Interior Region
Beira Interior region produces white, red and rose wines, as well as natural sparkling wines of great quality, thanks to the variety of grapes, which have allowed the constant discovery of new flavors and aromas.
Over the past few years, this region saw a great development concerning the increase of producers and the quality of the wines. Beira Interior wants to present itself as a region of excellence and quality regarding the production of wines and occupy its place close to the great wine regions of Portugal. Explore Beira Interior region, visit the lovely village of Belmonte, Manteigas e a Torre (tower) in Serra da Estrela that is the highest point in mainland Portugal.
This is Portugal's second largest wine-producing region by volume, after the Douro. Of its total output, 65% is exported. This wine region was known as Estremadura until 2008. Lisbon wine region produces and sells many excellent wines. There are a growing number of private wine estates, but a great many small-scale producers deliver their grapes to large co-operatives. The region makes a lot of inexpensive quaffing wine, known as vinho de mesa. Visit Lisbon and taste some of the best Portuguese Wines.
Península de Setúbal Region
Peninsula de Setúbal region acquired great prestige and importance in the last decades of the twentieth century. The cultures of the vine and of the wine have been able to integrate and have adapted to these new times, being nowadays unanimously recognized as a strategic resource and of great quality in the region. From the large farms dominated by the variety Castelão to the Moscatel, one of the national dessert wines, this region has always played a leading role in the history of Portuguese wines. The dessert wine of Setúbal, made of the varieties Moscatel and Moscatel Roxo, is one of the oldest and most famous wines in the world. Discover the Península de Setúbal, visit some of the most famous wine producers in the region, and taste some of the most awarded Muscats in the world.
One of the largest wine regions of Portugal, enjoying a warm and dry climate, with an excellent "terroir", that propelled numerous investments in the wine sector, resulting in the production of some of the best Portuguese wines and, consequently, in the international recognition of Alentejo wines.
The most important white grape varieties in the region are the Roupeiro, Antão Vaz, and Arinto. Regarding the red varieties, Trincadeira, Aragonez, Castelão, and Alicante Bouschet (French variety) are the most appreciated ones. White wines from Alentejo are generally mild, slightly acid, and aromas of tropical fruits. The reds are full-bodied, rich in tannins, and with aromas of wild and red berries.
In short, the Alentejo wines offer tremendous pleasure, be they white, rosé, or red wine. They are full of strong aromatic exuberance, round and smooth, with a unique ability to be drunk while young, but knowing how to age with distinction. Discover the culture, gastronomy, and wine of Alentejo, one of the best wine regions in the world to visit, according to USA Today.
Algarve is considered by many people a tourist paradise in Portugal. It is most known for having some of the best beaches and golf courses in the world. But what many people don't know is that this wine region is demarcated since 1980, but only in recent years started to revitalize its wine sector. It began by replanting varieties of grapes, modernizing wineries, and new methods of producing wine have been practiced. The red varieties are the traditional Castelão and Negra Mole and the white varieties are Arinto and Síria. The Syrah was one of the varieties used in the replanting of the vineyards and demonstrated complete adaptability to the climate of the region, therefore it has been widely planted by farmers. Both the red and the white wines are characterized by very ripe fruit, velvety and warm flavors. The wines of this region have high alcohol content. Visit Algarve, explore some of its best wineries, taste the wines, and taste the gastronomy.
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