In northern Portugal, amongst the tiled red roofs, white stucco buildings and rolling hills, you’ll find the region where Vinho Verde is produced.
Portugal Wine Regions
The Vinho Verde region is comprised on nine-subregions in Portugal’s Douro Valley. Each region has a unique micro-climate, but in general the area is cool, wet and rainy with no extreme temperatures, and the soils are granite based, which lends a nice minerality to the wines.
Why is Vinho Verde Fizzy?
If you’ve ever sampled Vinho Verde, you may have noticed that your glass of wine had a light fizz to it. Originally, this fizz happened when winemakers bottled the wine so early that fermentation had not yet finished, and it kept going in the bottle. But today, most Vinho Verde is artificially carbonated. Winemakers came to realize that many wine drinkers actually prefer this sparkling effervescence and so they’ve kept it light with fresh bubbles.
Before visiting the area, it didn’t really sink in that Vinho Verde is not solely white wine. It can also be rosé, red wine or even a full on sparkling wine (which are delicious by the way).
Vinho Verde Wine Pairings
White Vinho Verde
- Dry, crisp and slightly fizzy. You’ll find notes of pear, apple and citrus.
- Pair it with: Seafood, sushi, pork, Thai food, spicy dishes.
Rosé Vinho Verde
- Notes of strawberries, cherries and raspberry. Crisp and bright with good acidity.
- Pair it with: Fresh berries, roasted chicken, light pasta dishes.
Red Vinho Verde
- Most are light-bodied, fresh and crisp. You can serve them slightly chilled.
- Pair it with: Grilled meats, burgers, hot dogs. The perfect summer red wine.
When to Drink Vinho Verde
Most Vinho Verde is meant to be consumed young. However, many winemakers in the region have begun producing single varietal wines that age beautifully. In particular, be on the lookout for Alvarinho or Loureiro, which both improve quite drastically with age. Alvarinho has a high acidity with tropical notes and it becomes much more round as it sits in the bottle. Loureiro has more floral, delicate notes that also do quite well with a bit of age.
Vinho Verde Portugal Vineyards
Best Wineries to Visit in the Vinho Verde Region:
Quinta de Pacos
Where to Stay when Visiting the Vinho Verde Region of Portugal
For the majority of our trip, we were based in Porto, and then we would travel during the day to the wineries. Here are three hotels that I’d highly recommend:
Be sure to visit the Vinho Verde official page for more help with planning your perfect getaway to Portugal’s amazing wine region.