WINE TRAVEL: EXPLORING VINHO VERDE, PORTUGAL

Vinho Verde is the biggest DOC of Portugal, up in the cool, rainy north-west. The vines grow in fertile, granite soils along rivers that flow from the mountains of the east to burst out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Cool, wet weather always makes ripening more difficult here, but the climatic problems were long compounded in the region by the tradition of training vines along pergolas on the edges of fields.

Vinho Verde wines are distinguished by their high acidity. Flavours and aromas depend on the grape varieties used – floral Loureiro, mineral Arinto, and the fine, mineral, subtly fragrant Alvarinho. Most white Vinho Verde can be relied upon to be light, crisp and aromatic, often with a light prickle of fizz, sometimes with a touch of sweetness.

Black varieties are also grown for the production of red and rose wines: the red are deeply coloured and tannic; the roses are fresh and fruity.

Amsterdam, July 21th 2020