The true Portuguese experience comes from a world of difference
New York, NY – April 12, 2018 – No country is hotter than Portugal right now, with visitors clamoring to explore its vibrant culture and show-stopping vineyards. But beyond the few regions that have put Portugal back in the spotlight, there’s much more to discover within this abundant country, from the new showstoppers of DOC Bairrada, to the hidden treasures of DOC Dão, to the sunny sippers of the Algarve.
“Over the past 30 years, Portuguese wine has undergone a true renaissance,” , says. “Now is the time to explore the diversity and uniqueness of our lesser-known regions, which produce high-quality wine of great value across all price points.”Sónia Vieira, Head of Promotion & Education Departments for ViniPortugal
With 14 winemaking regions and over 250 indigenous varieties, Portugal offers a unique and vast wine world waiting to be explored:
- DOC Bairrada: Atlantic showstoppers
The mild, rainy northern coast of Portugal sandwiches vineyards between pristine beaches and low hills, where cool Atlantic influences produce wines with searing acidity. These are attention-getting wines, particularly the well-structured, long-lived reds made from the Baga grape. Once thought of as austere and harsh, Baga is now used to produce complex, aromatic, tannic wines, and even some sparkling reds as well. In fact, most of Portugal’s sparkling wine, much of which is made in the traditional method, is produced here, as are fresh, well-balanced white blends made from grapes like Arinto, Cercial, and Maria Gomes. Bairrada’s array of wines is already starting to catch international attention, with even more potential ahead.
- DOC Dão: The essence of elegance
In north-central Portugal, just east of Bairrada, lies the DOC Dão, where tens of thousands of grape-growers have held vineyard land for generations. An idealistically warm, sunny, dry climate, combined with vineyards planted on mountain slopes and acid-boosting, granitic soils creates the signature freshness, balance, and elegance of Dão wines. Touriga Nacional-based reds and Encruzado-based whites combine intensity and aromatics with minerality and texture, unfolding with more nuance and complexity over time. The Dão is a region just coming into its own, rewarding those who catch on now.
- The Algarve: Sunshine in a glass
Portugal’s southern coast evokes visions of gorgeous beaches and jeweled sea, but a remarkable winegrowing landscape lives slightly inland. Though the Algarve is the country’s southernmost region, it is quite temperate and not nearly as hot as nearby Alentejo, moderated by ocean influence and protected by small, northerly mountains. Portuguese local varieties, like Trincadeira and Castelão, are planted in the Algarve, lending well to round, rich reds ripened fully in abundant sunshine. Soft, easy-drinking whites and rosés abound as well, recalling the feeling of sipping seaside.
These three lesser-known wine regions just scratch the surface of the remarkable journey that Portugal’s wine landscape offers. While each of Portugal’s regions has its own individual identity, one that cannot be replicated elsewhere within or without the country, all are simultaneously connected by a common thread. Uncover the wines of Bairrada, the Dão, and the Algarve, and encounter the world of difference that forms the essence of Portuguese wine.
About Wines of Portugal
A small, yet diverse country, Portugal offers a stunning variety of terroirs, grape varieties and blends brought alive by a dynamic group of grape growers and winemakers with the perfect balance of creativity, artistry and technical skill. The result is a collection of wines both distinctive and authentic, unique among a sea of the same – this is what Portuguese wines are all about! The more you get to know them, the more these distinctions fascinate and draw you in – until finally it’s love, pure and simple.
ViniPortugal is a private and non-profit interprofessional association, created with the aim of promoting and supporting Portuguese wine production, both domestically and internationally. ViniPortugal’s Mission is to promote the image of Portugal as a country that produces wines of excellence, by valuing the brand Wines of Portugal and contributing to a sustainable growth of both volume and average price of Portuguese wine, as well as its diversity. Eight professional associations representing trade (ACIBEV, ANCEVE and AND), production (CAP, FENADEGAS, FENAVI and FEVIPOR) and demarcated regions (ANDOVI), integrate ViniPortugal.
For more information about Wines of Portugal, please visit www.winesofportugal.com.