The name Vinho Verde directly translates as “Green Wine”. This wine region of Portugal is extremely unique with the ideal conditions for the production of wonderful wine. The Vinho Verde wine region is the perfect location for those who love wine and nature to lose themselves in the beauty of Portugal. The wine region is divided into nine sub-regions and each of them presents something unique to offer visitors. Lost yourself in the beauty of Portugal’s natural environment and the flavors of young, refreshing, and floral wines of Vinho Verde.
Nothings beats the feeling of relaxing on a Summer afternoon or evening with a glass of crisp and fresh vinho verde. Enjoy the hint of a spritz in these fresh and flavourful wines. Not only are these wines wonderful to drink, but they are even better when paired with your favourite foods.
The name Vinho Verde was initially given to the wines of the Vinho Verde wine region because of the green and fresh colours of the landscape of this wine region. Vinho Verde has now become famous across the world. It is known among wine lovers for its light and crisp nature.
The Vinho Verde denomination is the largest DOC in Portugal and it is further divided into 9 sub-regions, each with distinctive characteristics that are expressed in their wines. These subregions are Monção and Melgaço, Lima, Basto, Cávado, Ave, Amarante, Baião, Sousa, and Paiva. The vineyards of the region are situated along the main river valleys of the area.
What to Expect From Vinho Verde Wines?
Fresh and white best describes Vinho Verde Wines
The vast majority of wines produced in Vinho Verde are white. Wines that have a relatively clear color, natural acidity, and floral and fruity aromas. Although these wines are not formally classified as sparkling wines, they are slightly sparkling. The tasting notes of Vinho Verde are of lime, grapefruit, lemonade, white melon, and gooseberries.
Monção and Melgaco sub-regions produce fuller flavoured wines. These wines also have higher levels of alcohol than other types of vinho verde.
The Vinho Verde wine region is also known for the production of red and rosé wines. These wines are far less common than Vinho Verde white wines but are definitely worth looking for. The reason for the scarcity of red and rose wines is that the Vinho Verde region is cool and often experiences high levels of rainfall. These climatic conditions make it more difficult for red wine grapes to ripen. The Vinho Verde red wines have tasting notes of pepper, sour cherries, sour plums, and peony.
The less common of the Vinho Verde wines are the Rosado Vinho. This is a rose Vinho Verde with flavors of red berries. These wines are thirst-quenching in the summer months and are almost like a berry lemonade! Rosado vinho is best enjoyed when the wine is still young as this is when the aromas and acidity are at their best.
in 1999, the Vinho Verde region began to produce sparkling wines. These wines have a natural freshness and are naturally low in alcohol.
White varieties: Alvarinho, Arinto, Loureiro, Azal, Trajadura, Avesso.
Wineries to Visit in Vinho Verde
There is an abundance of possibilities to make your trip to Duoro Valley unforgettable experience. Visit Wineries in Duoro and enjoy the breathtaking terrace landscapes with a glass of port wine.
Casa De Vilacetinho
The Casa De Vilacetinho was established in 1795 and is one of the most impressive wineries of the Vinho Verde wine region. Casa De Vilacetinho is considered one of the main role-players in the growth of the Vinho Verde wine industry. The winery welcomes visitors to experience the best of Vinho Verde wines paired with traditional local cuisines. There are also walking trails with take visitors through the wildflowers of the vineyards, the rose gardens, the banks of the Douro River, the fruit orchards and the 17th century manor house.
The A&D winery and estate boasts 45 hectares of organic certified vines used in the production of Vinho Verde wines. The land belonging to A&D Wines includes three estates: The Quinta de Santa Teresa, the Casa Do Arrabalde, and the Quinta Dos Espinhosos. These estates provide wonderful tasting experiences as well as five-star accommodation facilities for those looking to extend their stay.
The Vihos Norte winery and estate is famous for the production of the well-known Cruzeiro, Tapada Dos Mong and Miogo bands of Vinho Verde wines. Not only does Vihos Norte offer a range of wine tasting experiences, but they also provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the Vinho Verde wine production process. The winery at Vinhos Norte is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the best of Vinho Verde wines.
For most people around the world, the most famous symbol of Portugal is the colorful ceramic cockerel. This Portuguese symbol finds its roots in the beautiful city of Barcelos. Barcelos is located in the Braga District of the Vinho Vered wine region.
This city is known for its charm and natural beauty and has a range of offerings for all visitors. A trip to Barcelos must be sure to include visits to the Igrejo do Bom Jesus da Cruz and the Igreja de Sao Roque which is the earliest Jesuit church in Portugal. Barcelos attracts masses of visitors every May to the Festa Das Cruzes. This feast of the crosses provides a fun filled experience for visitors of all ages.
Ponte de Lima – The Epitome of Portuguese Character and Charm
Ponte de Lima is considered by many to be the most charming town of northern Portugal. This beautiful town is located on the banks of the Lima River. The location of the town made it the main river crossing since the town bridge was constructed by the Romans in 1 AD. A day spent exploring Ponte de Lima is like stepping back into town thanks to the plazas, ancient houses, buildings, and various historical sites. For nature and outdoor lovers, Ponte de Lima offers a range of activities. These include kayaking along the river, hiking, and biking along the mountains or bird watching in the nearby parks.
Ponte de Lima is a truly magnificent tourist destination and one of the highlights of the VInho Verde wine region.
Moncao – Along the Border of Spain and Portugal
The city of Moncao is located along the border of Portugal and Spain. Moncao was once one of the most important fortifications between the two countries. The historic center of Moncao is one of the most attractive in the Vinho Verde wine region. It is here that one can visit the remains of the fortifications along the meandering river.
One of the highlights of Moncao is the thermal baths. These baths are located close to the border in the middle of a beautiful and leafy park area. The location of the baths along the riverbanks, makes it the perfect escape to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Discover Natural Beauty of Vinho Verde
The beauty of the Vinho Verde region is already apparent in the regions name. The name Vinho Verde was given to the region because of its lush, green and rolling hills that continue as far as the eye can see. This region is a mecca for nature and outdoor lovers. The breath-taking nature of the region runs from the coast, climbing dramatically to the interior. Feast your eyes on the beauty of the Vinho Verde region.
Peneda Geres National Park – Portugal’s only National Park
The Peneda Geres National Park is located on the Castro Laboreiro platea. The park crosses the three districts of Viana do Costella, Vila Real and Braga. The Peneda Geres National Park was established in 1971 to protect the area’s incredible flora, fauna, and local cultural heritage. Inside the Park, there is a range of activities to enjoy. These include canyoning, swimming, sailing, walking, hiking, and mountain biking. One of the most beautiful spots in the park if the Tahiti Waterfalls. There are many tour companies that arrange to have visitors taken to this must-see spot.
The Peneda Geres National Park is that it is completely free to access. The only section of the park which requires payment is the Mata de Albergaria which is the oldest forest in Portugal. The Peneda Geres National Park provides the perfect playground for those looking for a fun and eventful day out.
Espiguerios do Saojo – The Spikes of the Vinho Verde Region
The Espiguerios do Saojo is located inside the boundaries of the Peneda Geres National Park. The Espiguerios do Saojo are a group of granite granaries that are precariously perched on stilts. The granite slabs that support the granaries are made from granite taken from the surrounding Peneda mountains. The granaries were built in this fashion to protect the food crops that they store from rats and rodents. They were built for the use of the entire local community. The Espiguerios do Saojo granaries are an extremely unique site. En route to the Espiguerios do Saojo visitors are also treated to views of wild horses grazing the beautiful surrounding landscapes. This site is a true wonder for all nature and history enthusiasts.
Rio Minho Valley – The Vein That Runs Through the Vinho Verde
The Rio Minho Valley is the valley that follows the course of the Minho River. This river begins its course in Spain and from there flows through the many cities, towns, and villages of Portugal. Along the course of the river and through its various meanders, there are a number of sites to see and experience. The most popular of these are the vineyards belonging to the wineries producing the world-famous Vinho Verde. The Rio Minho Valley can be enjoyed by car or even by bicycle! A trip through the valley provides the perfect itinerary for exploring the natural beauty of the Vinho Verde wine region.
Cuisine of Vinho Verde
The cuisine of the Vinho Verde region is mainly made of what is considered northern Portuguese cuisine. The location of the wine region means that fish is a staple on menus. Of course, fish pairs perfectly well with the delicious local green wine! The Vinho Verde wine region takes one on a truly magnificent food and wine journey.
Cabrito das Terras Altas do Minho
Traditional Portuguese goat
Cabrito das Terras Altas do Minho is a traditional Portuguese dish made with local goat meat. The mean is taken only from the Bravia and Serrana breeds of goat. These goats are raised in the Tras-os-Montes mountains of the VInho Verde wine region. The meat of these goats is said to be rich in flavour because of the grasses and herbs that they graze on. Cabrito das Terras Altas do Minho is a goat stew that is packed with flavours and aromas. The meat in the stew remains juicy and most even though the fat content in the goat meat is very low. Traditionally, the stew is cooked in a wood fired oven and paired with rice.
Rojoes a Moda do Minho
Delicious, hearty and warm Portuguese stew
Rojoes a Moda do Minho is a Portuguese stew that is made with pieces of pork meat. Before the meat is placed in the stew, it is marinated in a mixture of white wine and garlic. Traditional Rojoes a Moda do Minho recipes differ across the Vinho Verde wine region, but most include belouras. Belouras are small cakes made with animal blood and flour. In addition to belouras, other ingredients that are often added are chestnuts, pork liver, boiled blood, and tripe. Rojoes a Moda do Minho is usually served with rice or potatoes.
Portuguese puff pastries
Jesuitas are triangle-shaped puff pastry desserts that are common in the Vinho Verde wine region. These pastries were historically made in the local convents but today are found in most local cafes and restaurants. Jesuitas is prepared by layering puff pastry and then coating the pastry with an egg custard. This is then perfectly finished with a meringue topping. To make these treats even more delicious, many bakers sprinkle the final product with almonds or cinnamon.