Vinho Verde or Green wine, have you heard of it? Sounds weird and it is not even green, but is one of the most appreciated wines in Portugal. Do you know why have you never heard of it? Because we are the only country in the world who produces this type of wine.
Portugal is an old-world wine country and its grape varietals, growing methods and production traditions have been perfected over many centuries. The country’s numerous unique-in-the-world grape varieties contribute to robust traditional taste with an exotic twist.
There are 11 wine regions in Portugal. The Vinho Verde is made in Minho, a north-western region, and is also known for Alvarinho due to be the most prestigious white grape of Vinho Verde .
This semi-sparkling wine is called “green” but has nothing to do with its color.
The “official” version is that the Vinho Verde gained its name because of the green and fresh appearance of the Minho landscape. Even during the summer, the green landscape was accentuated by the vineyards that climbed the trees (in traditional “hanged”) and expanded the borders of cultivated fields, on fences and trellises.So beautiful and idyllic, isn’t it? But this name is due precisely to the fact it’s being made of not completely ripe grapes, or at least not as mature as in other national wine regions. It is consumed while the wine is still young, preferably within a year or two after its release. Vinho Verde is unique to Portugal and is not produced anywhere else in the world. It typically has medium alcohol content and a distinct taste. It also features excellent digestive properties. Red Vinho Verde are often full-bodied with intense colors while whites usually show a lemony or straw color. The cooling influences of a dense network of river valleys which cross the region, plus the breezes coming in from the Atlantic moderate the heat of the summer sun. Soils are mostly shallow and granite-based with narrow bands of shale also present.
Photo: Aveleda Vines
Nothing says summer like Vinho Verde ! Anybody in search of light, fresh and not-quite-dry white wine should taste it. With moderate alcohol content, and therefore less caloric, Vinho Verde is a fruity wine, easy to drink, great as an aperitif or harmonization with light and balanced meals: salads, fish, seafood, white meats, tapas or sushi. Needing a suggestion of a “green wine” producer?
The Aveleda, in Penafiel, has been a family business since its founding in 1870. It has been run by generations of the same family, whose talent has always been dedicated to producing wines of great quality and recognized across borders. Here you can take a guided tour of the gardens and sample their produce.
Just 7 km from Quinta da Aveleda you find the Solar Egas Moniz, a family run guest house that will make the delight of your rest. The nice little messages that you discover inadvertently and its cozy corners are an invitation to peace and lazing around.