As we’ve discussed many times before, we’re huge fans of Vinho Verde (pronounced veeng-yo vaird), the region in Portugal just to the west of Douro and to the south of Rías Baixas in Spain. Today we’re back with more on the long (and we mean long) history of the region in this special post sponsored by Vinho Verde Wines.
Last year we introduced this region in our Get to Know Vinho Verde post. We then highlighted a number of amazing selections well under $20 from a variety of different grapes. (You can check out all those here.)
And while these fresh, modern wines are extremely popular today their history goes way back. All the way to back to the Romans in the 1st Century AD, in fact. The oldest known historical references about the existence of wine in this area come from two Romans, Seneca the philosopher and Pliny the naturalist, as well as the legislation of the Roman Emperor Domitian (51-96 AD).
The historical references to wines in this region continue through the 1800s when Vinho Verde wines commanded some of the highest prices on the market. They were also some of the first Portuguese wines to be exported to other European markets in the 16th century.
The region was officially demarcated in 1908 making it one of the oldest in Europe. The winemaking tradition here has mainly focused on blending different varieties together. With around 60 native varieties to choose from, it’s easy to see why, and that blending tradition continues today — stay tuned for reviews of some of our favorites coming up in the next few weeks.
One of the more exciting recent trends; however, is the exploration of single varietal wines. We touched on a couple of these in last year’s Grapes of Vinho Verde post and we’ll be featuring many more over the next few months.
These single varietal wines are an indication of how modern these wines have become. Today over 19,000 growers farm over 52,000 acres, making Vinho Verde the country’s largest wine region. An average of 75 million liters of wine is produced annually and exported to more than 100 markets worldwide.
Stay tuned for much more information on this region in the coming months! You can also find out more info on Vinho Verde Wines here. In the meantime check out all our recommended buys from this region here.
This post was sponsored by Vinho Verde Wines.