Vinho Verde, vinho verde Portugal

When Fernando Guedes acquired this historic estate in 1982, he immediately set out to transform it. He planted 35 hectares of vineyards in this cool, wet part of north-western Portugal, bordered to the north by the Minho River, which separates Vinho Verde from Spain’s Rías Baixas, to the west by the Atlantic, to the south by the city of Porto and to the east by the Serra do Marão mountains, beyond which lies the Douro Valley. Traditionally, overhead pergola systems were used due to the farmers’ need to make use of every piece of land, including that under the trellis. While good for the farmers, this was not conducive to quality wine production. Fernando moved away from these high-trained pergolas to cordon-trained vines that allow more air circulation and provide better sun exposure for the grapes, resulting in riper and healthier fruit at harvest.

In replanting the vineyards at Azevedo, and making the first wine in 1990, Fernando pioneered the production of quality Vinho Verde. Today, winemaker António Braga and his team continue to make some of the best wines from the region, all marked by a signature freshness and pure, precise flavours. The vineyards are situated in the commune of Barcelos and are planted primarily with the indigenous varieties Alvarinho and Loureiro. Fermentation takes place in stainless-steel tanks at temperatures between 16 and 18˚C to retain the intrinsic freshness and aromatics of these varieties. The delicate Loureiro variety lends floral notes of lime blossom and a signature bay leaf scent to the wines, while the Alvarinho brings stone fruit aromas, structure and complexity.

The Vinho Verde is a crisp and refreshing blend of Loureiro and Alvarinho boasting aromas of ripe citrus fruit, nectarine and freshly cut apple. The Quinta de Azevedo Reserva, also a blend of Loureiro and Alvarinho, is made with a careful selection of estate fruit. It exhibits more weight and texture on the palate due to a longer period of maceration on the skins and lees stirring for three months post fermentation. Grapes for the Alvarinho Reserva are sourced from vineyard sites located slightly further inland and more sheltered from the cooling influence of the Atlantic. It is rich and aromatically intense with aromas of nectarine, apricot and mango, balanced by a lively acidity.


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