Occupying the northwest region of Portugal, the demarcated Vinho Verde Region has the ideal natural conditions for the production of excellent white wines, endowed with a natural freshness and low alcohol. The influence of the Atlantic ocean sea winds, along with soil, climate and the region’s grape varieties make Vinho Verde unique in the world. Excellent sparkling wines and fine spirits also standouts.
Monção e Melgaço are part of the Portuguese Demarcated Region of Vinhos Verdes (young wines also known as “green” wines). Protected by the mountain chain of Minho Valley and surrounded by the river Minho and its affluents, this region possesses a very peculiar microclimate. The mild temperatures and low thermal amplitude potentiate the quality of the Alvarinho grape variety, resulting in a unique and exquisite wine. The grape variety Alvarinho is known for its small bunches, limited production and high quality. The grapes are middle-sized, round and yellow, assuming pink tonalities when well matured. The wine has a citric colour, a delicate bouquet and it reveals itself as well balanced, light and fresh in the mouth.
The Douro Region is known for its schist soils, its cold winters and its dry, hot summers. The Marão and Montemuro chains of mountains block the wet air currents from the Atlantic. In the region of Alto Douro, on the western side, next to the Marão mountain chain, the rain levels are higher and thus the vineyard productivity also increases. This region is excellent for wine production, hence the diversity of grape varieties, even though productivity is low. Amongst the red castes stand out Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa, Touriga Nacional and Tinto Cão; the predominant white grape varieties are Malvasia Fina, Viosinho, Donzelinho and Gouveio.
The Region of Dão is excellent for wine production. The mountain chains of Caramulo, Montemuro, Buçaco and Estrela (where winters are extremely cold and rainy and summers are dry and hot) protect this region from the strong winds. The altitude of the vineyards (400-700 metres), the soil characteristics (composed of schist and granite) and the wide extension of pine forests converge in full-bodied wines with great potential for ageing in the bottle. Amongst the red grape varieties stand out Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Tinta Roriz and Encruzado and the main white castes are Bical, Cercial, Malvasia Fina and Verdelho.
The Monforte area, next to the São Mamede mountain chain, has got a moist climate, with high temperatures in the summer but cold and rainy in the winter. This exquisite microclimate, combined with the “Terroir” and the vineyards, allows the production of wines easily differentiated from the traditional Alentejo wines. Wines with intense red fruits and spice aromas. Amongst the red grape varieties stand out Trincadeira and Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon are also used to balance the blends. The main white grape varieties are Antão Vaz, Arinto e Verdelho.