Many people get no further than mentioning merlot or chardonnay If you ask about a grape variety. So the grape varieties antão vaz, trincadeira and touriga franca are from Mars, as far as they are concerned. Fortunately, you don't have to travel light years to drink wine from original authentic grape varieties for once. In fact, wine country Portugal is just a few hours' flight from Schiphol Airport. Attach a few days' holiday to your visit right away, because you won't want to leave once you land in the land of sun, wine and 'a vida tranqüila'. - TEXT PETRI HOUWELING | IMAGE: HERDADE DE ESPORÃO
Dare, taste and admire: wine from Portugal
Most wine countries limit themselves to the commercial, international successes when it comes to grape varieties. Boring! How different this is in Portugal! This wine country par excellence has always steered its own course when it comes to making wine from autochthonous and authentic grape varieties. The 250 different varieties are sometimes a bit tricky to pronounce, but they taste exquisite and that is what matters. The 15 crowd favourites of the Portuguese incrowd are alvarinho, arinto, malvasia, antão vaz, touriga nacional, tinta roriz, trincadeira, aragonez (tempranillo), moreto, castelão frances, alicante bouschet, roupeiro and the perrum.
A little history
Portugal has been practising viticulture since the year zero. It is a small country; the Netherlands only fits in twice. Grapes are planted all over the country, from the far north in Vinho Verde to the southern Algarve. The 14 different wine regions make white, red, dry, sweet and sparkling wine.
Curious to find out more about wine from Portugal? Read it in WINELIFE Magazine 82. Order this one here!
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