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© 2015 Wolfgang Bitterolf
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February 1, 2016

Vinho Verde

My friend Marie likes Vinho Verde and suggested that I do an article about it since she really does not know all that much about it. Well, here is some shallow information to partially fill the knowledge gap:

Vinho Verde is both a wine and a region.

Let's deal with the region first:

Vinho Verde is Portugal's largest DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin), and it also claims to be one of the oldest wine growing regions in the world. It is located in the north-west corner of the country and is described as cool, rainy, and very, very, very green - hence the name Vinho Verde - green wine.

And now to the wine:

Vinho Verde is a young Portuguese wine which is not allowed to mature and is typically consumed shortly after bottling. It is light, refreshing and at 9% relatively low in alcohol. Most Vinho Verdes have a little fizz and remind me a bit of the Txakoli of the Basque country which grows in a somewhat similar environment but is perhaps a bit less fruity.

Most Vinho Verde is white and made from grapes little known outside of Portugal. Some ros├ęs and reds are also available.

Vinho Verde is produced by over 15,000 independent growers, many of them still using the old method of training the grapes up high on pergolas, trees, fences, walls, even telephone poles so that the soil below can be used for produce and other crops. With the grapes being far off the ground long ladders are needed for the harvest; inefficient and dangerous - particularly if you had some Vinho before climbing up there.

Slowly but surely this method is replaced with conventional stake and wire vineyards.

Not sure why I am posting this in the middle of the winter - to me Vinho Verde is more of a refreshing summer drink - but I guess Marie wanted to know now.

The harvest images are used with permission and are © Obrigado Vinhos Portugal, a NY importer of wines from Portugal.


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Date: February 1, 2016
By: Marie, Allison Park, PA
Your Comment:
Thanks for all the information on Vinho Verde! I didn't know anything about it! I love to drink it in the summer because it IS so refreshing, but I will drink almost anytime just because I really like it - and it doesn't make me drunk! :)