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The Minho… the land of Vinho Verde

The beautiful green region of the Minho is located in the northwest of Portugal in an area between the rivers of The Douro (to the South) and The River Minho on the Spanish border (to the North) and locked in by the mountains (to the East). The region's climate is greatly influenced by mountains and Atlantic currents. The most significant feature is the yearly rain levels showing an annual average of 1500 mm concentrated mainly in winter and spring.

With good reason, many Portuguese consider the Minho to be the most beautiful part of their country. A rolling province of lush river valleys, forested hillsides, trailing vines and long, sandy beaches, it is immensely pleasing on the eye, while much is made of the Minho's traditional aspect, especially in the mountainous east, where you can still see wooden-wheeled ox-carts creak down cobbled lanes. Here age-old customs are maintained at dozens of huge country markets, festas and romarias.

| The Wine

cvrvvVinho Verde is an unique product, miss-understood by some but loved by many. With a blend of aromas and petillance that makes it a delicious natural beverage. Medium in alcohol, Vinho Verde has great digestive properties due to its freshness, slight fiz and special qualities. It is a highly regarded wine, especially when served chilled for Summer drinking. The malo-lactic fermentation gives it a distinctive taste and personality. The reds are full-bodied wines with an intense colour and a rosy or light red foam. The whites usually present a lemony or straw colour.
The strong distinctive character and originality of these wines are the result of soil and climate characteristics, social-economic elements, grape varieties and the vinegrowing methods.

The vines, distinguished by their great vegetative expansion in severe conditions, occupy an area of almost 35 thousand hectares, corresponding to 15% of the national viticultural area.

CVR Vinho Verde Official Website [ go ]

See a full list of our range of wines from the Minho and Vinho Verdes [ go ]

| Appellation

The Vinho Verde DOC is divided into nine sub regions:

• Amarante
Located in the interior of the VVSR, the sub-region of Amarante is protected from the influence of the Atlantic and is at quite a high average altitude, so the temperatures are higher and in the summer temperatures are hot. These conditions favour the development of certain late ripening varieties: Azal and Avesso (whites) and Amaral and Espadeiro (reds). The soil is granite, like most of the region. The white wines usually present fruity flavours and an alcahol content greater then the regional average. But Amarante's fame comes from its reds, since these climatic conditions favour well matured grapes, particularly from the Vinhão variety, which enables wines to be obtained with a deep and very bright colour, much appreciated by the locals.

• Ave
In the sub-region of Ave, the vines are planted roughly all over the flood basin of the river Ave, in an area of quite irregular terrain and low altitude, therefore more exposed to sea winds. The climate is thus characterised by low temperature ranges and average rainfall. As a result this sub-region mainly produces white wines with a crisp freshness and floral, citrine fruit hints. The Arinto and Loureiro varieties, suits this type of climate due to their average maturation which is neither premature nor belated, cab be found throughout this sub region. Also to be noted is the Trajadura variety which ripens early, and is softer, complimenting to perfection wines made with Arinto and Loureiro.

Quinta de Gomariz Avesso

Quinta de Gomariz Avesso Branco
Vinho Verde DOC

Light yellow color. Floral aromas with orange peel, pineapple, gunpowder - a quite concentrated nose. Dry with an oily character, a touch of bitterness, quite full-bodied style with fine acidity. Long and pure finish.

£6.83 a bottle.

More Info [ go ]

• Baião
The sub-region of Baião is on the border of the Vinho Verde and Douro specified regions. It is in the interior of the region at medium altitude, with conditions that create aless temperate climate, with colder winters, less rainfall and hotter and drier summer months. These characteristics allow the correct ripening of the late maturing grape varieties like Azal and Avesso (white) and Amaral (red), which have greater demands for heat in their final ripening stage. This sub-region has become known for the production of highly acclaimed white wines from Avesso variety, which combine an intense fruity aroma with a lively acidity.


Portal das Hortas Branco
Vinho Verde DOC

A balanced and persistent wine, with a citron colour, the aroma is very expressive (fruity and floral). The mouth has a natural freshness a typical of the character and terroir from Baião.

£4.33 a bottle.

More Info [ go ]

• Basto
The most inland sub-region in the VVSR, is Basto, which lies at an average altitude and is protected from the Atlantic winds. The climate is quite rough, with cold and rainy winters (together with the Lima valley, has the highest annual rainfall) and hot dry summers, favouring grape varieties that ripen late such as Azal (white), Espadeiro and Rabo de Ovelha (red). The Azal variety reaches its greatest potential in this zone, which enables very distinct wines to be obtained, with a very fresh aroma of lemon and green apple. Reds are also widely produced here, presenting a high vinosity and a full and fresh bouquet.


Quinta de Santa Cristina Rosado
Vinho Verde DOC

Bursting with red fruits with a long and pleasant end.

£5.83 a bottle.

More Info [ go ]

• Cávado
As with Ave, the vines in Cávado are scattered throughout the Cávado river flood plain, covering areas of varying elevations and quite low altitudes which are exposed to atlantic winds. These factors provide a pleasant climate with no great extremes of temperature, and with an average annual rainfall. As well as granite soils, there are also types of schist, though it is not particularly extensive. The climate is suitable for producing white wines, using particularly using Arinto, Loureiro and Trajadura grapes, which are perfectly adapted to these conditions. They are wines with moderate acidity and notes of citrous, ripened apples and pears. The red produced here are mostly from Vinhão and Borraçal varieties, with deep garnet colour and with fresh fruit aromas. In the moth, they present the full climatic freshness of the region is which they are produced.

• Lima
In terms of temperature range, the sub region of Lima occupies an intermediate position in relation to the other sub-regions. However, rainfall is higher. The altitude ofthe vineyards is variable, and increases the further you travel from the coast, where the terrain is also more irregular, giving rise to some mirco-climates in the Lima Valley, sometimes referred to as Lower Lima and Higher Lima. Like in Cávado sub-region, there is a strip of soil originating from schist as well as granite soils, though it is not a significant stretch.
The most famous white wines from this sub-region are produced from the Loureiro varieties. The aromas are fine and elegant and go from citrus to floral. The Arinto and Trajadura varieties are also widely found here, because they adapt well to climate that are less influenced by the Atlantic winds. The reds are mainly produced from Vinhão and Borraçal varieties. Usually, the red wines from the more inland zones of this region show better potential, due to climatic conditions that affect ripening.


Adega COOP Ponte de Lima
Loureiro Branco Vinho Verde

In the Sub region of Lima the Loureiro grape is predominate, due to the local climate and terroir. This loverly wine from Adega. COOP de Ponte de Lima is thirst quenching, fruity and aromatic.

£4.83 a bottle.

More Info [ go ]

• Monção
The sub-region of Monção has a very specific micro-climate, and uses only Alvarinho (white, Albariño in Spain), Pedral (red) and Alvarelhão (red), these 3 varieties mature early. The soils here are from granite, though there are some places with stripsof shingle.
The mirco-climate is noted for cold winters with average rainfall, while summersare hot and dry, which shows limited influence from the Atlantic. The sub-region runs along the south bank of the river Minho in an area of half-slopes. The extreme wines from the Alvarinho variety are the ex-libris of the sub-region of Monção.


Quinta de Soalheiro
Alvarinho Branco Vinho Verde

A classic. Fresh aroma, intense flavour and an unusual evolution in bottle.

£10.88 a bottle.

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• PaivaPoster
Similar to the Lima in temperature range and hot summer. Neither is it the the region with the highest rainfall indices, since it is not so exposed to the influence of the sea, but rather inland and at a high altitude.
This is why the red varieties of Amaral and particulary Vinhão read anoptimal state of ripeness here, and produce some of the most celebrated red vinho verdes in the whole Minho region. The whites come from Arinto, Loureiro and Trajadura grape varieties, which are adapted to the temperate climate and therefore common almost throughout the region, but usually found allied with Avesso in this sub region.

• Sousa
Like the Ave and Cávado sub regions the climate here is pleasant and the the range of temperatures vary slightly. Rainfall is below average. Sousa could be considered a transition sub-region, since it is not directly exposed to the influence of the Atlantic, though it does have some effect due to the slightly accentuated elevation. It is an inland zone, but without extremely cold winters or extremely hot summers. The recommended varieties are those typical of the more temperate areas such as Arinto, Loureiro and Trajadura, as well as Azal and Avesso, whose ripening is more demanding. Reds are made with Borraçal and Vinhão varieties which are found all over the VVSR, and also Amaral and Espadeiro. The latter is used a lot to produce rosé wines.


Voyage of Discovery, Minho Magic,
selection case of 6, save 10%

Quinta do Pinheiral - Arizo Vinho Verde Doc
Quinta de Gomariz - Espadiro Rosé Vinho Verde DOC
COOP Ponte de Lima - Loureiro Vinho Verde DOC
COOP Ponte da Barca - Branco Vinho Verde DOC

Quinta da Levada - Vinho Verde DOC
Quinta de Soalheiro - Soalheiro Alvarinho Vinho Verde DOC

More Info [ go ]

Vinho regional Minho
Vinho Regional Minho is wine that comes exclusively from grapes produced in the geographical production area delimited by ministral orders and with a less restrictive choice of grapes as that for VVSP products, and also permits the introduction of other wine-growing and oenological varients, thus obtaining products with different profiles from Vinho Verde.


Sousa Lopes, Loureiro and Chardonnay Branco
Vinho Regional Minho

Straw green colour, with fresh aromas with delicate notes of tropical fruits and pineapple, in a mineral background. In the mouth it has a soft texture, balanced acidity. Unctuous, with delicate and long final. Fresh, complex and harmonious fruit.

£5.83 a bottle.

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Sparkling Vinho Verde
Although there has been a history or making sparking wines in the region their labelling as Sparkling Vinho Verde is recent, only coming into being in 1999. Essentially it's classic Vinho Verde which undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle for a minimum nine months. The taste profile is much the same as Vinho Verde with a re-inforced aromatic freshness. These Espumantes need to be served cold, between 8-10ºC.