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VINHO VERDE appellation - Portuguese wines
Vinho Verde is a very original, extremely distinctive wine, which is unlike any other wine in the world. It is rarely produced in red and most of the time in white.
The white wines of the VINHO VERDE appellation:
Vinho Verde white is a light, low alcoholic wine (generally from 8 to 11°) with a beautiful fruity acidity and excellent digestive properties. It is even sometimes very slightly sparkling.... The most famous Vinho Verde is dry white. With few exceptions, it is a wine to be enjoyed young, to be enjoyed within a year of the harvest and should be served chilled.
LE VINHO VERDE and its gastronomy
The Vinho Verde region is a generous region where gastronomic specialities are delicious and always served in abundance. The regional specialities and dishes are:
- Cod dishes, including the famous "minhota" recipe, based on white wine and olive oil with garlic, onion, pepper, parsley and paprika.
- The octopus, prepared in different ways, both in a salad with a little vinegar or grilled with a drizzle of olive oil.
- excellent greenery or seafood salads,
- the "cozido a portuguesa", a very tasty stew that mixes several meats,
- the "rojões a minhota", a specialty made from pork meat and fried potatoes...
The most famous local desserts are
- the "arroz doce", a rice pudding, the "pão de ló" which looks like our four-quarter cake
- the "sonhos", cinnamon and orange peel doughnuts.
In Vinho Verde we enjoy every meal.
The characteristic grape varieties of VINHO VERDE
Most of the grape varieties grown for the production of Vinho Verde wines are indigenous: Arinto, Avesso, Alvarinho, Azal, Trajadura and Loureiro for the whites, Espadeiro, Vinhão and Padeiro for the reds. Among the white varieties of Vinho Verde:
- arinto gives nervous, lemony wines
- alvarinho is the most famous, with its aromas of citrus fruits and flowers as well as its minerality and volume in the mouth. Unlike most Vinho Verde wines, it can even age a little by developing toasted aromas.
- Loureiro has aromas of green fruits (apple, pear) and aromatic plants (laurel) with a fresh acidity.
The whites are remarkable with grilled sardines that can be tasted in the country but also with seafood, fish, salads, spicy dishes and cheeses, or as an aperitif and even as "wines of thirst" always very pleasant to quench your thirst. Good reds should have an intense colour, a nice nose of red fruit and, despite their tannic character, be very fresh on the palate. Today they are conducted as everywhere in the world but in the local tradition the vines are grown in pergolas or along the trees, which is a very unusual way to cultivate them.
The history of VINHO VERDE wines
The Vinho Verde region, known since Roman times, is one of the oldest in Portugal. Having never been affected by the Arab conquest, it has managed to preserve all its customs and traditions. Vinho Verde has always benefited from the proximity of the sea by exporting its wines (even the reds, almost all of which are consumed in the region), particularly to England. Today, Vinho Verde wines achieve very good export scores and are appreciated all over the world.
The VINHO VERDE region
The Vinho Verde region is located in the northwest of Portugal, just behind the border with Spain. It is also called the region "Entre Douro e Minho". Marked by the promontory of the Serra da Peneda, the climate of this region is influenced by the sea breezes of l´Océan Atlantique. Due to the proximity of the sea, the level of precipitation is very high throughout l´année Its granitic soils are poor. The Vinho Verde region is divided into nine sub-regions: Monção and Melgaço, Lima, Basto, Cávado, Ave, Amarante, Baião, Sousa and Paiva. It should be noted that the first sub-region, Monção and Melgaço, is the only one authorised to produce white wine with the Alvarinho appellation.
Sightseeing in the VINHO VERDE
Don't go to Vinho Verde if you can't go back one day! Because you will be enchanted by the beauty of the landscapes and l´architecture, the richness of the gastronomy and the cheerfulness of the wines. Your mind, eyes and body will never forget Vinho Verde. The towns to visit are Viana do Castelo, Barcelos, Amarante, Ponte de Lima, Ponte da Barca, Braga, Valença do Minho and Vila Nova de Cerveira. This region has inherited a very important religious heritage, with its churches and convents, as well as a very large number of palaces that belonged to the greatest families in the kingdom. To this can be added a very rich gastronomy with a beautiful gourmet tradition as well as a hospitable and cheerful population. All the ingredients for success for a successful trip!