VINHO VERDE: THE FINEST GEM IN THE NORTH OF PORTUGAL
Today, Oporto Adventure Tours will give you an insight into our famous traditional grape wine, Vinho Verde.
It all started in the Northwest of Portugal, in the province of Minho, with the farmers working different plots of a very layered land. The soil was planted by many small growers that used to place their vines high off the ground, training them to be hung in fences as trees. This was mainly due to the arrival of maize in the 16th century, that needed the most of the ground to be maximized in order to feed people. So a typical feature of northern Portuguese agriculture is to have their plantations below the vines.
This region totally breaks the fame of Portuguese fortified wines. Vinho Verde is the absolute antipode of Porto as it is young, slightly fizzy and citrusy.
This wine has many hidden secrets.
First of all, it is not a type of grape, but a cross of native grapes such as Alvarinho, Loureiro, Trajadura, Avesso, and Arinto.
Secondly, the sparkling trait is due to malolactic fermentation, that is normally considered a wine default in other types of wine but in this very specific case, takes Vinho Verde to a whole different level! Malic acid gives a taste of green apples and in its turn, lactic acid gives it a milky and buttery palate softness. This combo brings to our mouths a rounder and fuller feeling.
As a result of this fermentation, this wine’s effervescence (fizz) can be observed and taste right here in our tours in Gerês, when we stopped for lunch during your day tour. When you taste it, you will have the impression that the landscape is reflected inside your mouth.
“the sparkling trait took vinho verde to another level”
Vinho Verde is mainly produced for domestic consumption. It is not that we want to keep it just to ourselves, but the best ones you will ever taste are homemade and without a label.
Written by Vanessa Santos