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About 25 percent of Portugal's total wine production comes from this wine-growing region, with a total vineyard area of about 60,000 hectares, it is the largest growing area for quality wines from Portugal.
Vinho Verde: Portuguese wine speciality
The region of origin of the Vinho Verde is the river basin between the Portuguese-Spanish border river Douro and the Minho, in the west it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. It is characterised by its maritime, extremely humid climate with hot summers and cold, rainy winters. Annual rainfall can be as high as 2,000 millimeters per square meter. The vines for this Portuguese white wine are therefore often grown in pergolas.
The description "green wine" does not refer to the color of the berries or the final product, but to the young fresh character of these wines. They are pressed not only from white grapes, but also from red ones. Besides white and red Vinho Verdes, there are also rosé varieties, but on the international market, white varieties dominate. The white grape varieties recommended for their production are Alvarinho, Avesso, Loureiro as well as Treixadura, besides, some other recommended or permitted white grape varieties also play a role. Also with the red Vinho Verdes a quite large vine variety can be found.
Vinho Verde wine: light, sparkling and rich in fruit aromas
The vinification of these wines demands a lot of tact and experience from the winemakers. They go through only a short fermentation period and are characterised by a high acid content. Their alcohol content is between 8.5 and eleven percent, which contributes to their light, sparkling character. During the fermentation process, the malic acid contained in the must is transformed into natural carbonic acid. In the case of inferior qualities of green wine that do not fall under DOC certification, the carbonic acid is sometimes added externally.
With the exception of some export qualities that contain some residual sweetness, the Vinho Verdes are developed in an acidic and "bone dry" manner. A classic Vinho Verde presents itself slightly moussing and shows intensive apple, peach or citrus notes. Red varieties, which are almost exclusively drunk locally, have a very high tannin content and a distinctly intense colour.
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