In the far northwest part of Portugal lies one of the most beautiful, breathtaking and picturesque wine growing regions in the world. Vinho Verde, literally translated, is known for its young fresh, crisp and delicious wines.
Vinho Verde is the biggest DOC of Portugal and home to all types of wine, from white, rosé and red to even eau du vie. In the region of Vinho Verde nearly 35,000 hectares of vineyards are planted making up 15% of the total in Portugal – isn’t that impressive?! There are nine sub-regions to the DOC and each are named after either a river or a town: Monção, Melgaço, Lima, Basto, Cávado, Ave, Amarante, Baião, Sousa and Paiva – which may be something we all need to study up on – or shall I say taste and learn. In the sub-region of Sousa, at Penafiel, is Aveleda Estate. A family owned company that has been run by the successive generations of the same family since its foundation in 1870.
Vinho Verde is exposed to the Atlantic Ocean influence so the region is cool, rainy and in the north west part of the country and the landscape is also very lush and green (also where it might get its name). The vines grow in granite soils along rivers that flow from the mountains of the east over into the ocean on the west hand side of the country. Cool, wet weather can make overall grape growing a bit more challenging, however, the climate here makes for some rather delicious wines, with great gentle aromas and good acidity levels. The two most successful white grapes in the region are Alvarinho (the most prestigious) and Loureiro (the most planted and aromatic). A good example of a blend between these two grape varieties is the Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde. Produced exclusively with grapes from the Aveleda estate, this wine offers floral aromas of the Loureiro grape variety perfectly merged with the tropical aromas of the Alvarinho grape variety.
Vinho Verde can offer a little bit of effervescence (fizzybubbles) that can always please the palate with just a touch of sweetness – making them a great option for an aperitif wine. These light and fresh wines are meant to be drank young and enjoyed with the summer sunshine on their own or with salads, fish, seafood, chicken and vegetables. This versatility as well as a lower alcohol content, characterizes the Vinho Verde, (one of my Favourites is the Aveleda Vinho Verde). Served Vinho Verde between 6-8 degrees, this wine is perfect to serve during brunches or afternoon hosting.
Vinho Verde is unique worldwide, and is an excellent reason to explore the region that presents many points of interest. Besides the landscape, the architectural heritage, the gastronomy, this region will surprise you for its traditions and history. Awarded with Best of Wine Tourism award, Aveleda estate has one of the most beautiful gardens in Portugal. Aveleda wines are readily available across Canada and are a great experience into the Vinho Verde category. Winning many global awards for their delicious Vinho Verde Aveleda’s estate wines continue to evolve and garner global recognition and love from the trade and consumers alike.
Vinho Verde is definitely a wine region that’s fun, fresh and perfect for summer sipping.
Isn’t it time you tried something new!
Quinta da Vinho Verde $10.95