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The Vinhos Verde region, which extends throughout the north of Portugal, is known as Entre Douro-e-Minho, the two rivers that form a natural border: the Minho in the north, bordering Galicia (Spain) and the Douro to the south that separates this region from the rest of the country.
Located at an altitude of less than 700m. It is a land rich in water and a varied diversity of landscape between beaches, mountains and rivers in which the green of a luxuriant nature predominates.
The Vinho Verde Wine Route offers tourists the opportunity to discover enchanting places where the friendliness of the people and a truly special wine make the visit unforgettable.
Let’s find out more from the words of President Manuel Pinheiro.
Since when the Association was born, what goals has it achieved and which ones to achieve?
The Vinho Verde Wine Route was founded about 2 decades ago with the intention of creating a network of Vinho Verde producers to support and structure the wine tourism offer in the region, which was very incipient at the time. The Route has been developing over the years, and if initially it was mainly a way to promote and sell Vinho Verde wines, today it is a professional organization, with a wide offer of wine tourism services. Currently, the focus is on excellence in offering authentic programs, integrating wines, culture and territory, valuing local communities and sustainability.
Through which services/activities do you promote the dissemination of the Do Vinhos Verdes Wine Route?
The Vinho Verde Wine Route is a member of the recently created Port and North of Portugal’s Wine and Tourism Route, which also includes the Douro and Porto, Távora-Varosa and Trás-os-Montes wine routes. Within this new and wider Route is being structured the supporting network, including new signalization and, above all, platforms for joint promotion, which we believe will have a great impact in the future.
The producers of the Vinho Verde Wine Route have made important investments through the years, not only in the development of the tourist offer but also in its promotion. The wine tourism offer in the region has been growing alongside the significant growth of the Vinho Verde brand in the markets.
On the other hand, Vinho Verde Wine Route has its own annual communication and promotion plan, which through press, social media and public relations has sought to increase the awareness of its brand. Events like walking trails in the vineyards, the Open Day at the Vinho Verde Route, influencers tours, and others have been bringing the tourism market to the Vinho Verde Wine Route.
Can you briefly describe the Route and the territories of cultural and wine tourism interest it crosses?
The geographic area of the Vinho Verde Wine Route matches the geographic area of the production of Vinho Verde wines. The region extends throughout the northwest of Portugal, from the Minho river, which lies, in part, along the northern border with Spain, to the Douro River and the Freita, Arada and Montemuro mountains at the south. Another group of mountains limits the region, Peneda, Gerês, Cabreira and Marão, limit the region at east and the Atlantic ocean at the west.
In between there are 49 municipalities, where it is possible to enjoy beaches and mountains, valleys and rivers, and a unique landscape where the namesake “green” is all you can see for miles around.
This territory is full of history, from the ancient wine culture, 900-year-old historic villages, to the origins of the Portuguese nation. To walk these paths is to immerse in the history of Portugal.
What are the peculiarities of the territory and its wines?
The Region occupies a very large geographical area. In general terms, it can be said that it is a production area that enjoys a mild climate, high precipitation in winter and spring, and strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, whose winds penetrate the region through the valleys of the many rivers that cross it. The granitic soils and the indigenous grape varieties are two other factors that contribute to this region’s natural conditions ideal for the production of naturally fresh and mineral wines.
But in a wine-producing region as extensive as that of Vinho Verde, there are areas with differences in soil types, specific microclimates and recommended varieties, which yields grapes that produce wines with extremely diverse nuances.
All Vinho Verde Wines are unique. In the Vinho Verde family, there are young, light, and fresh wines, with low alcohol content, as well as sophisticated wines, that are complex and intense with mineral profiles and great potential to age in bottle. In the Monção & Melgaço microclimate, the cradle of the Alvarinho grape variety, a dry and full-bodied Vinho Verde arises with a subtle, fresh, and complex aroma and mineral character. In the subregions of Lima, Cávado, and Ave, where the main Loureiro variety grows alongside the delicious Arinto and Trajadura, fresh and aromatic wines are created, often with a citrus and flower scent. The mountainous subregions of Basto and Sousa also produce stunning light wines from unique grape varieties. In the subregions of Amarante and Baião, the Avesso grape produces dry and fresh white wines with rich aromas and a mineral character. Amarante and Paiva, just south of the Douro River, are well known for their red Vinho Verde wines. Vinho Verde is synonymous with diversity, because the climate and indigenous grape varieties make it possible to produce infinitely varied wines of all colors and styles. The result: an array of distinctive, elegant, and food friendly wines.
Why choose the Do Vinhos Verdes Wine Route?
World Heritage sites and invaluable monuments from across history dot the region and are reason enough to visit. Tradition meets modernity in the local culture and the production of Vinho Verde wines combine to provide moments of pure pleasure in both modern and family estates, where genuine hospitality and kindness reign.
Walk through the vineyards, visit the wineries, stroll through gardens, trails, and forests, enjoy regional foods, marvel at the extraordinary natural beauty and surrounding cultural heritage, free yourself from the hustle and bustle of the city and let yourself be lulled by the sounds of the countryside, these are the Vinho Verde Wine Route proposals.