One of the Portuguese grape varieties of biggest quality, Alvarinho has its origin in the Iberian Northwest region, near the boarder of the Vinho Verde region, in Portugal, and Rias Bajas, in Spain. This variety produces aromatic and delicate wines with high ageing potential: most wines are able to maintain their quality for as long as 10 years. In recent years some producers started to include, and with much success, a passage through barrel which has added more complexity to Alvarinho wines.
This variety is widely spread across the Vinho Verde region and has more recently acquired the role of a nobel grape, with single-variety bottling. It produces very aromatic, light-bodied wines that are light and fresh.
It is the Portuguese white wine star, especially due to its similarities with the Chardonnay variety. The Encruzado wines, though not very fragrant, are quite structured and have the ability to handle vinification and/or the barrel, maintain an acidity that balances them and keeps them fresh.
It is found in the majority of the Portuguese wine regions but it is hardly found in single variety bottlings. Its pronounced lemony acidity, when not controlled, can give origin to unbalanced wines. However, it is one of the most used blend varieties in order to add freshness to wines. This is especially true in Alentejo where its partnership with the Antão Vaz is a classic. Its characteristic acidity also makes it very used as a base for sparkling wines.
Fernão Pires / Maria Gomes
It is the most grown variety in Portugal, especially in the Tejo, Lisboa and Bairrada (locally called Maria Gomes) regions. It is very fragrant, with sweet floral notes, orange blossom, tangerine, lime, lemon, fresh herbs and rose notes as well. It is frequently used in quantity wine batches and there are rare cases of higher quality wines where it shines alone. It is usually in the Bairrada region where one can find the best single variety wines of this grape.
It is one of the most valued grape varieties in Alentejo. A consensual, rustic and well adjusted to the region’s hot weather. Antão Vaz produces structured, steady and full-bodied vines and, when harvested in an early stage, it gives origin to vibrant wines in their aroma and seasoned by a steady acidity. If it is left in the vine for longer, it can reach a high alcoholic volume, making it a good candidate for the barrel. It is regularly associated to the Roupeiro and Arinto varieties that add a refreshing acidity.
Vinho Verde Blend
This variety is of high importance in the Douro and Dão regions, having become, in the last years, in the most internationally renowned Portuguese variety. In Portugal it is spread across all wine regions being the national variety that is most commonly found in single-variety wines. Its thick skin, rich in colouring matter, helps to obtain intense and profound colours.
The abundance of primary aromas is one of the variety’s trademarks, being simultaneously floral (with violet, bergamot and rose notes) and fruity (black wild fruits), always intense and explosive.
The most grown variety in the Douro region owes its popularity to is high versatility, productivity, balance and regularity of production. Touriga Franca is one of the structural pilares of the region’s lots, with a high impact in Port and still wines, but rarely used in single-variety productions. It generates full-bodied wines with steady structure but, at the same, elegant, being regularly associated to the Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional varieties.
It is an Iberian variety of high quality, named as Aragonês (Alentejo) or Tinta Roriz (Dão and Douro regions) in Portugal and Tempranillo in Spain. It is the most grown red variety in Portugal.
It’s an early-ripening variety, adding abundanct fruit and spice to the wines, in a deep and lively profile. In Portugal it is mostly a blend variety, frequently benefiting of its pairing with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca in the Douro, Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro in the Dão as well as Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet in Alentejo.
Baga is responsible for the best wines of the Bairrada region, being equally importante in Beiras, Dão, and Lisboa e Tejo. It is very susceptible to rot and is very sensible to the rains during harvest season. It offers good ripening and, in dry years, Baga wines are of deep colour. It has a huge bottle ageing potential.
Despite having reached success in the South, reaching the Alentejo, Tejo and Palmela regions, this variety has its natural territory in the Dão region. It produces wines rich in colour and with a remarkable balance between alcohol, tannin and acidity. It is essentially a blend variety but it can also be found in some single variety wines of huge quality.
It is one of the most grown varieties in the South of Portugal but it is in Palmela where it is in its peak, in sandy terroirs and in the region’s old vines. With a controlled production it gives origin to structured wines and the best ones have an excellent ageing capacity.
Of French origin, created by Henri Bouschet through the crossing of the Grenache and Petit Bouschet varieties, it has found in Portugal the ideal terroir. Being one of the rare teinturier varieties (red pulp), it produces strong colored wines (practically of black color), full-bodied, powerful tannin and high alcoholic volume. It is almost omnipresent in the best wines of the Alentejo region and, for some producers, it constitutes their best and most high-end single variety wines. It shows an excellent ageing capacity.
Trincadeira / Tinta Amarela Rufete