The Portuguese DOC area for red and white wines was defined by law as early as the 1908th The huge area covers 60,000 hectares of vineyards in the Braga districts, postage and Viana do Castelo. It stretches 130 kilometers in length and 70 kilometers in width in the northwest Portugal between the rivers Douro and Minho, the border with Spain. The entire area is also known as Vinho Regional (VR) for country wines Rios do Minho classified. The cool and very rainy with an average of 2000 mm of rainfall per year climate is very strongly influenced by the nearby Atlantic. The area is in the six sub-zones Amarante, Basto, Braga, Lima, Monçao (considered the best) and Penafiel divided, which differ by the cultivated varieties. The sub-zone is usually not mentioned on the bottle label. The vines are grown in a pergola-like arbor system (tendon). Around a quarter of Portuguese wine is produced here. Around 60%, however, produce simple, non-bottled tap wines that are cloudy cider resemble. The vineyards are often managed by some 30,000 growers with the smallest vineyards in the sideline.
Vinho Verde means "green wine", which is not on the color (there are variants in white, rosé and red), but that the wine is made from still green grapes refers to the fresh taste, the green landscape and on. The cool climate, training system and the special grape varieties produce must with little sugar and high malic acid content. The grapes, which are quite unripe due to early harvest, are fermented only briefly. Earlier occurred after a malolactic fermentation Today is mostly carbonic acid added. This creates an acidic, fresh and sparkling wine. A vintage rarely appears. Most wines have only 9 to 10% vol alcohol and should be drunk young. Due to its freshness and low alcohol content, the Vinho Verde is referred to as "summer wine". Only the Alvarinho wines from Moncao more than 11.5% may have, all the others are just as Rios do Minho declared.
Since adaptation to the EU directives the early 1990s are produced in equal red and white wines. For the grape varieties, a distinction is made between recommended and approved varieties, around 35 are allowed. For the dark, acidic and extreme astringent Red wines are the recommended varieties Azal Tinto ( Amaral ) Borraçal, Alvarelhão ( Alvarelhão ) Espadeiro. Padeiro de Basto. Pedral. Rabo de Ovelha and Vinhão, They are rarely exported. The white wines have a straw to lemon yellow color. The "real" Vinho Verdes are the dry wines with a sharp taste. The recommended white varieties are Alvarinho. Azal Branco. Avesso. Batoca. Loureiro, Pedernã ( Arinto ) and Trajadura, The best qualities are those from Alvarinho and Loureiro that too unmixed to be produced. Well-known producers are Casa de Sezim, Casa de Vilacetinho, Casa de Vila Verde, Mendes Ponte de Lima, Palacio de Brejoeira. Sogrape (Gazela, Morgadio de Torre, Quinta Avelada, Quinta Azevedo), Quinta do Ameal, Quinta da Franqueira, Quinta de Liaxa and Quinta do Tamariz.