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Bairrada

DOC area in the west of the Portuguese region Beiras near the Atlantic coast. It is an ancient wine-growing region, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a third of the area was used for viticulture. In the early 18th century, the dark and tannic red wines were very popular in England and were also port (from the north of it Douro ) or blended with it. As in 1756 the boundaries for the port wine been established by the then Portuguese Minister-President Marquês de Pombal (1699-1782) ordered to clear the vineyards of Bairrada to protect the port wine. In 1908, the area was eliminated by the government from the list of vineyards. Only in 1979, the area was again classified as Vinho Regional (land wines) and later as a DOC area. Great service to the area was acquired by Luiz Costa, the owner of the winery Caves São João, who was keen to high quality standards and co-founded the Bairrada Wine Brotherhood (Academy of Bairrada Wine).

The vineyards cover about 15,000 hectares of vineyards, which is divided into many small estates. The name Bairrada derives from the Portuguese term for the prevailing clay or loam, which is enriched with lime. Unusually for Portugal dominated with the red Baga clearly a grape variety with over 70% share of the vineyard. From this about 70% of red wines are pressed, which must contain at least 50% of the variety. Other native varieties are Borrado das Moscas ( Bical ) Castelão Francês, Maria Gomes ( Fernão Pires ) Rabo de Ovelha and Tinta Pinheira ( Rufete ). Many sparkling wines are produced, but they have no DOC status. The most important white varieties are Bical and Maria Gomes ( Fernão Pires ). Well-known producers are Casa de Saima, Caves Allianca, Caves São João, Fonseca, Luis Pato, Quinta da Rigodeira and Sogrape, The latter owns a large winery in Anadia, where the main share of the famous rosé wine Mateus is produced.

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