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A trip to Síria 23 May '19

No, I was not in Syria, I was in Beira Interior with our Finnish friends. The queen white variety of this region is Síria. This is the name people around here call it. In Douro, it is also called Códega or Malvasia Grossa. And in Alentejo, they say it is called Roupeiro. There are also those who call it Crato Branco. The only question that remains is if it is also the Vermentino da Córsega. The leaves and bunches are very similar, but the wine is difficult to compare.

In Portugal, this grape variety is mostly present and planted separately from other grape varieties in interior regions. In regions with maritime influence, Síria is hidden among other grape varieties in the oldest vineyards.

These grapes need time to ripen, do not like warm climates and prefer the altitude vineyards. This is well explained its wines. Once on hot land, it produces very aromatic wines, but these tend to lose its strengths within a few months. At altitude it has higher natural acidity, can maintain the aromatic profile and does not washed off so fast in time. It produces wines, in Beira Interior, with notes of white fruits - like quince and pear - and incredibly minerals.

The mineral side - which someone who once wrote on a chalk board understands what I am talking about - seems to be very connected to the soil that in Beira Interior is mostly granite with quartz and clay.

These white wines are special. It is true that not everyone falls in love with a wine like this, but those who perceive and understand what a good white wine is, quickly let themselves be amazed by this very ancient grape, which will have come into the hand of some Roman who has left Italy and brought it to us. But that no one will know...

Hélder Cunha
The wine’s my life