Portugal | VINIMONDO

Vin Portugal


Portugal

Portugal has undergone something of a wine revolution in the past couple of decades, updating its winemaking technologies, styles and attitudes. This archetypal Old World country has long been famous for little more than its fortified wines (Port and Madeira) and tart, light Vinho Verde. But it is now attracting a great deal of attention for its new wave of rich, ripe, table wines – particularly reds from the Douro Valley.  Portugal's many vine varieties and their countless regional synonyms are the bane of ampelographers. Some are endemic to Portugal (e.g. Touriga Nacional), while others are shared with neighboring Spain (e.g. Tinta Roriz/Tempranillo). An increasing number are the ever-popular 'international varieties of French origin (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay). Happily, the current success of Portuguese wines has not become dependent on the latter category - a fact which has played to its favor; by retaining their indigenous grapes, Portugal's winegrowers have maintained a certain uniqueness in their wines, which is a valuable asset in the world's increasingly demanding and competitive wine market. Portugal's temperate, predominantly maritime climate has a great deal to offer ambitious vignerons.

Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde is a well-known DOC in the Minho region of north-western Portugal. Each year it is responsible for vast quantities of straw-yellow, light-bodied, tangily tart wines produced from many thousands of small farms throughout the region. And amid the wash of white wine is the faint glimmer of ruby-tinged red Vinho Verde tinto – rarely seen outside Portugal. A quantity of the wines made here are so fresh and youthful that they earn the moniker verde ('green'), which applies even to the reds. Although not sufficiently effervescent to be officially classed as sparkling wines, much white Vinho Verde has an obvious petillance. They are most often based on such classic Portuguese white-wine grapes as Arinto, Loureiro and Trajadura. The tart, zingy reds employ the services of the Azal Tinto, Vinhao and Espadeiro vine varieties.

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