The Bairrada wine region was one of the pioneers in the production of Portuguese sparkling wine. This wine region is known for its expanse of flat and fertile lands. Because of its proximity to the ocean, the region has a mild climate that is perfect for wine tourism. Bairrada is filled with a selection of excellent small-scale wineries. This wine region is home to a range of excellent high-quality wines. These wines are made using only the best grape varietals such as aga for the red wines and Bical for the white wines. Bairrada provides wine lovers with a truly wonderful wine experience.
The Bairrada wine region lies in the northern part of Portugal. Viticulture in this region first began in the 10th century. Bairrada is well known for the production of beautifully colored red wines. It is equally famous for its excellent local red and white sparkling wines. Bairrada is a haven for wine lovers and provides an excellent wine tourism experience for all who visit.
Wines from Bairrada
The red wines of the Bairrada region are structured yet complex with flavors of blackberries and have relatively high levels of acidity. The tannins in these red wines are somewhat firm. Bairrada red wines are well known for their excellent aging properties. They are also instantly recognizable by their deep and intense red color. However, nowadays, winemakers are trying to change the direction. So, the premium Barraida red wines that are available today are fresher and brighter, with crisp red fruit notes and much finer tannins.
White wines from the Bairrada wine region can be described as complex yet fresh. These are saline wines that have a high level of minerality and citrus notes. They are also known for offering incredibly good value for money. The top of the range Barraida oaked white wines have a Burgundian complexity and are known for their excellent aging qualities.
The Bairrada wine region has gained recognition in Portugal as well as internationally for the production of sparkling wines. These sparkling wines are left to ferment in the bottle. Bairrada sparkling wines are made using traditional white grapes. On occasion, additional white grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Baga, or Maria Gomes are added. These additional grapes provide an extrafloral taste to the sparkling wines. In recent times, some sparkling wine producers in Bairrada have begun to produce red sparkling wines. These are gaining popularity and are a wonderful new addition to try when visiting Bairrada.
Red varieties: Baga, Castelao, Rufete, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Touriga Nacional
White varieties: Arinto, Pederna, Bical, Cercial, Fernao Pires
Places to Discover in Bairrada Wine Region
Aveiro – The City with a Soul of Water
Aveiro is a maritime city in the Bairrada wine region. This city is located on the shores of a lagoon. Considered by many as the Venice of Portugal, visitors can explore Aveiro by painted gondolas along the canals that meander through the city. The most popular attraction in Aveiro is the Mosteiro de Jesus. The Mosteiro de Jesus is a monastery filled with extraordinary religious art pieces. After visiting the Mosteiro de Jesus be sure to see the Art Nouveau houses of the Rossio Area, the old train station, and the Costa Nova.
Costa Nova is a small village with historical houses of fishermen. The village is located on the oceanfront which is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch.
Agueda – The City of Colour
Agueda is a historical city located in the bairrada wine region. The most perfect time to visit Agueda is during July during the AgitAgueda festival. During the festival, Agueda is transformed into a wave of colour, fun, parties and creativity. The AgitAgueda festival lasts for three weeks and transforms the city into a wonderland of art. Outside of the festival, Agueda is a peaceful and relaxing city to visit. Sites that should not be missed when visiting Agueda include the Igreja da Trofa church, the patiera de fermentelos lake, the archaelolgical site of Cabeco do Vouga and the Ponte Medieval do Rio Marnel.
The Old University Town of Coimbra
Coimbra is not only a town of historical significance; it also has incredible beauty. The ancient buildings of Coimbra are perfectly placed along the side of a steep hill providing magnificent views. These views overlook the meandering Mondego River and the ornate buildings of the University of Coimbra. The university provides Coimbra with a bustling student life that brings the town to life and fills the local restaurants and bars. When visiting Coimbra, be sure to visit the many local cathedrals and the beautiful botanical gardens.
The Nature of the Coastline
The Bairrada wine region is exceptionally beautiful thanks to its location along the coastline. Bairrada provides the perfect environment for relaxation and adventure. The long stretches of beaches resemble a postcard and provide a range of seaside activities. A trip to the Barraida wine region is the perfect blend of good wine and nature at its best.
The Magical Bucaco Forest
The Bucao Woods is surrounded by a high wall and has access through eleven different entrance doors. The forest provides the perfect location for a stroll through nature. Most who visit the forest is struck by its intense and vibrant green color. After walking the various forest paths, the Bussaco Palace Hotel inside the Bucaco Woods provides the perfect place for a drink and a meal. The Hotel is one of the most beautiful neo-Manueline buildings across Portugal.
Parque de Cidade, Mealhada
The Green Space of Mealhada
The Parque de Cidade, Mealhada is located nearby to the Mealhada city center. This beautiful open green space covers 14 hectares of land. The park is a home open for recreation, leisure, and sport and is a meeting hub for locals and visitors. Inside the park, there is also the Environmental Interpretation Centre that spreads information and awareness on environmental issues. The Parque de Cidade, Mealhada is the perfect spot to relax, socialize with locals, and enjoy the summer sunshine.
What to Eat in Bairrada
Bairrada is the wine region of Portugal where one is surrounded by good food at all times. The food of the Barraida region is strongly influenced by the area’s rich heritage. Visit Barraide for a wonderful gastronomical experience, made even better when paired with the excellent local wines.
Leitao a Bairrada – Traditional Portuguese Pork
Leitao a Bairrada represents the true taste of the region. The star of this dish is a suckling pig. This pig is roasted and basted until the skin is crunchy and the meat is delicious and creamy. The best place to try Leitao a Bairrada is the city of Mealhada. The pigs that are reared in the Barraida region are said to be the best in Portugal. These pigs are fed acorns when being reared. When the pork is cooked, the meat is rubbed with a combination of fat, pepper, garlic and salt. The meat is then skewered and cooked in an oven. When visitng Barraida enjoy some delicious Leitao a Bairrada paired with local wine and accompanied with salad, orange and potato slices.
Caldeirada de Enguias – The Traditional Stew of Aveiro
Caldeirada de Enguias is a seafood stew that originates from Aveiro in the Barraida wine region. Aveiro is famous across the world for its eels. Caldeirada de Enguias is an eel stew that is packed full of flavor. The flavor of the stew is a result of the addition of saffron, bell peppers, onions, and potatoes. These ingredients are cooked over medium heat until the potatoes are soft. Caldeirada de Enguias is best enjoyed when paired with a crisp white wine from the Barraida region.