A salute to Portuguese wine

20 de March, 2020

Portugal is one of the largest wine-producing countries in the world. Despite its small geographic area, there are several wine-producing regions; from north to south, not only does the taste change, but also does the aroma and the colors, making each wine unique.

There are 13 wine regions in Portugal: Vinho Verde (‘Green Wine’), Trás-os-Montes, Douro and Port, Beira Interior, Bairrada, Dão, Lisbon, Setúbal Peninsula, Tejo, Alentejo, Algarve, Azores and Madeira. However, given their antiquity and large-sized productions, six of these are highlighted and are better known than the others.

Up north, the ‘vinho verde’ originated in the Minho region is king among the ruling white varieties, producing somehow more acidic and fruity varieties, and counting with Quinta do Soalheiro as one of its most reputed producers; the Douro and Port wines are both originated in the Douro valley region, a UNESCO world heritage site characterized by the terraced steps scenery extending along the river valley, home to some of the most celebrated vineyards – W&J Graham’s (Symington)Quinta do Noval and Taylor’s (Fladgate) – and responsible for the production of the renowned Port wine; the Dão wine region, stretching its vines at different altitudes in between pine trees, produces ruby colored red wines with a full body, and light, fresh whites, with a fruity flavor and a citrus-yellow color. One of the major producers of this wine is the “UDACA – União das Adegas Cooperativas do Dão”(Union of the Dão Region Wine Producers Cooperatives). Further south, in the ‘Beira Litoral’ province, Bairrada’s zone produces wines characterized by a light acidity, a consequence of the rather fresh and rainy weather and the sea’s proximity, with Luís  Pato being the region’s best known producer; extending along the shores of the Tejo river, one finds yet another region, producing complex wines with native castes: reds that have a noticeable red fruits’ aroma and are ruby in color, while the whites are also fruity, but dry. Two of the best producers of this wine are the Companhia das Lezírias and the Quinta da Alorna. Finally come the wines from Alentejo, a vast region located in between mountains and plains, with dry Summers and cold, rainy Winters, revealing wines particularly fruity and aromatic, well finished and smooth, and where the main producers are the Adega Cooperativa de Borba (Borba Wine Producers Coop) and Casa Santos Lima.

Article in a Bestguide and Porta da Frente partnership.

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