What is Vinho Verde?
Vinho verde is a demarcated and law-protected Portuguese wine region. It is one of the 14 Portuguese wine regions a list that also accounts for regions like Douro, Bairrada and Alentejo. Geographically, it’s situated in the Minho region of Portugal.
Vinho Verde is not green wine, it’s not a color for the wine and it doesn’t come from green grapes – it is simply a non-translatable name of the Region like Côte du Rhône or Mosel. The picking in the Vinho Verde Wine Region usually starts between August and September, like other wine regions in Portugal. The grapes are harvested in their perfect state of maturation, completely ripe, not green. The harvest and vinification methods are very similar to any white, rosé, or red wine producing region in Portugal or Europe.
Why is it called Vinho Verde?
The exact reason remains a mystery, but the most commonly accepted answer has to do with the fact that it is located in a area full of lush green vegetation. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, abundancy in water bodies like rivers and streams, as well as the mild climate and high rainfall, the Vinho Verde Wine Region if gifted in terms of water supplies, turning it into a huge green landscape. From forests to fields, the region is very fertile, and green is its main hue.
A second possible reason, not so commonly accepted, has to do with the old production and trainings systems in place in Vinho Verde. The traditional training systems for vines are the pergolas and Etruscan systems. These methods were designed for small, family-owned plots where whole families planted all the food they needed to live. Vines where secondary, so they were grown in the edges of the fields. These old systems provided a lot of shade to the grapes, and in a very humid and cool area, that makes it difficult for the grapes to fully ripen. At the time, with these ancient training systems, the grapes might not have achieved their perfect maturation, so they might have been harvested still green. Nonetheless, it is important to take note that these training systems are no longer used, only for recreation purposes, and new, more adequate systems were implemented, thus allowing for the grapes to be in their perfect maturation and sanitary conditions.
A Brand that is rooted in the History of Vinho Verde
Everything started with the dream of a visionary, Manoel Pedro Guedes who, after moving to Quinta da Aveleda in Penafiel, planted the seeds of what later in the future was to become a demarcated region dedicated to the production of unique wines, the Vinho Verde Wine Region.
Img. Manoel Pedro Guedes
In 1870, Manoel Pedro Guedes produces one of the first wines of what was to become a renowned wine region, the iconic Quinta da Aveleda wine. Years later, he would also be the one to bring from Bordeaux the advanced techniques of grafting and the row training system for the vineyards, knowledge that would lead the future Region and its wines to success.