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The region with wine name 12 Jun '19

In the last chronicle I wrote about the Sauvignon Blanc variety and pointed out how the Pouilly Fumé region praises its complexity and how New Zealand has transformed it into one of the most known grape varieties of the wine community.

Here we also have a terroir capable of doing what New Zealand has done for Sauvignon Blanc and we also have varieties capable of surprising the world by the characteristics that terroir and winemakers can instill.

The region I want to talk about is the one that is called after wine, the region of Vinho Verde. As strange as the wine style itself is, it is so strong and striking that it gave its name to the region. The story is simple. Although there are others, the most real, in my opinion, has to do with the weak viticulture that the region had centuries ago. As a consequence of the polyculture, the vines were planted in the “borders” of the land, supported by the trees that bordered the properties, and there they were wrapped to these, forming the so-called ““hanged vineyard”.  This style of cultivation is a good example that explains the lack of ripeness that the grapes had when they were harvested, resulting in a green wine, that is, a wine of grapes that were not very ripe. Consequently, in the absence of maturation, these wines would be with high concentrations of one of the acids present in the grapes, malic acid, which is the ideal substrate for the so-called second fermentation - Malolactic – that, when trapped in a bottle, leaves that needle effect. It’s nothing more, nothing less, than carbon dioxide.

Now, a wine as unique as this, which nowhere else in the world was made, could only give its name to a region. The good problem now is that the region has a very different viticulture from the one that gave it fame and is able to produce wines of an unusual quality and longevity in the world of wines.

All we have to do now is show and say that the region is much more than what the world knows. Maybe stopping calling it the green wine region is a start. I like a good green wine, but taste much more of a good wine from the region they call green wine.

Hélder Cunha
The wine’s my life