Portuguese verde wine region. If you ever been to Portugal, most probably you are familiar with their amazing wines. The verde wine, is definitely one of the most popular and it has its own region. It is produced in the north in the geographic region of Minho.
The name “verde” means green and there are lots of theories about why it is called this way. Some believe it is because its acidity reminds of unripe (verde) grapes, others think it is because of the amazing greenery of the region. It may be both since both arguments are true.
The Portuguese verde wine region has a high humidity level which helps the growth of its lush greenery. It receives the sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and it also has a high level of precipitation throughout the year. The soil is mostly granite with high levels of acidity and low levels of phosphorous. The result is soil with low fertility. That didn’t deter the Portuguese, and for centuries they have developed techniques to fight this problem and still be able to produce amazing wines. The creation of terraces, one of the greatest features of this region, was one of those techniques enhanced by the use of natural fertilisers such as manure.
The region is subdivided into 9 sub-regions that are Monção, Lima, Cávado, Basto, Ave, Amarante, Sousa, Paiva and Baião. Each one of these sub-regions produces its own wines with its own characteristics.
The region produces a wide variety of white and red grape varieties. Although the majority of people know the white verde wines, the red ones are still undiscovered but they are as delicious.
The white grape varieties grown in this region are the famous Alvarinho, Loureiro, Avesso, Azal and Trajadura. For the red varieties, we have Borraçal, Espadeiro and Vinhão.
The wines are as diverse as the sub-regions where it is produced. Each one of them with its own characteristics, soil and climate. Generally, verde wines are slightly acidic and light. Some may be fruity. For example, an Alvarinho produced in Monção will be a full-bodied, dry wine, but a Loureiro from Lima will be much softer and perfumed. The reds, which were initially the main production in the region, are now almost exclusively known and consumed by the locals. Quite acidic in taste, they are a must-have at the table, complementing the local gastronomy.