Alentejo - The planting of the vineyard in this region dates from the Roman period, as evidenced by several traces of that time, namely grape seeds discovered in the ruins of São Cucufate, near Vidigueira, and some Roman presses.
The first written documents on planting the vine date from the 12th century.
In the immensity of flat, or almost flat, horizons, the Alentejo has the most important orographic accidents in the mountains of Portel (421 m), Ossa (649 m) and S. Mamede (1025 m).
However, it is in the isolated elevations that the microclimates that are favorable to the planting of the vine are generated and that give quality to the wine masses.
The southern position and the absence of important reliefs are responsible for the Mediterranean and Continental characteristics of the climate. Insolation has very high values, which is reflected in the ripening of the grapes, especially in the months preceding the harvest, giving the grapes a desirable accumulation of sugars and coloring matter in the skin of the berries.
The vineyards are mostly located on geological substrate of plutonic rocks (granites, tonalites, syenites and nephelinic syenites), however, it is worth noting the diversity of soil spots in which the vines are installed (namely schist and limestone-clay spots) .
It is also important to mention that the best lands are chosen for the cereal culture and agro-livestock exploitation, while the vine and the olive tree, given their rusticity, are based on soils with low capacity of use.
The similarity of the organoleptic characteristics of the various VQPRDs of the Alentejo, added by the fact that the consumer generically associates them to the mentioned mention, justify the Denomination of Origin "Alentejo", which includes the following 8 sub-regions: "Portalegre", "Borba" , "Redondo", "Reguengos", "Vidigueira", "Évora", "Granja-Amareleja" and "Moura".
In the geographical area currently identified as the IG "Terras do Dão" (corresponding to the one previously designated as Beira Alta area) we find two defined areas for the production of wines with Denomination of Origin:
The geographical production area DO "Dão", located in the north of Portugal, in a mountainous enclave, is surrounded to the west by the peaks of Caramulo and Buçaco and to the north and east by the imposing mountains of Nave and Estrela that constitute a an important barrier to the humid masses of the coast and the harsh continental winds.
This region, where the vineyards predominate between the 400-500 m elevations, going, however, up to 800 m, has granitic soils generally of low fertility, with schist outcrops to the south and west. It has a climate that, although being temperate, is nevertheless quite cold and rainy in winter and often very dry and hot in summer.
A little north of this region, wines with the DO "Lafões" can be produced.
The soils, of granitic origin with spots of pre-cambrian shales, are often humic and fertile. The region, however, has some similarities with the Vinho Verde region, either due to the type of conduction of the vines that are found in the culture fields, serving as borders, leaning against "uveiras", in trellises or branches, thus predominating the vineyard. high, either because of the characteristics of white wine (low in alcohol, rich in malic acid and very fruity) and red wine, with good aging capacity.
The demarcation of the Dão Region celebrated 100 years in 2008. It is located in the center of the lower extremity of northern Portugal and coincides with the Planalto Beirão, which is surrounded by mountain massifs composed to the north by the Nave, Montemuro and Lapa mountains, a south by the mountains of Buçaco, Açor and Lousã, to the east by the Serra da Estrela (the highest in Portugal, with almost 2,000 m) and to the west by the Serra do Caramulo.
During the Roman occupation, vineyards were already cultivated and wine was made in the Alto Douro valleys. The history of the region is both fascinating and cruel, since the immemorial times when the Douro was above all effort and violence, which has been softening and evolving, allowing us to enjoy one of the most amazing "cultural, evolutionary and living landscapes" in the country, currently recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It should also be noted that it was the first demarcated and regulated region in the world, when it was created by the Marquis of Pombal, of the General Company of Agriculture of the Vineyards of Alto Douro, in 1756.
The region, rich in microclimates as a result of its rugged orography, is divided into three sub-regions - Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior, producing in each of them quality white, red and rosé wines, sparkling wines, liqueurs and wine spirits with their own specificities.
Of the total volume of wine produced in the Douro Demarcated Region, about 50% is destined for the production of "Port Wine", while the remainder is destined for the production of high quality wines using the appellation of controlled origin " Douro "or" Douro Wine ".
"Port Wine" is distinguished from ordinary wines by its particular characteristics: an enormous diversity of types in which it surprises a richness and intensity of incomparable aromas and a very high persistence, both of aromas and of flavor, in addition to a high alcohol content (generally between 19 and 22% vol.), in a wide range of "sweetnesses" and a great diversity of colors.
Also worthy of note is the Douro Regional Wine whose production region coincides with the Douro Demarcated Region.
Tejo - In accordance with the wishes of the Producers in the Region, and with the publication of Ordinance No. 445/2009, of 27 April, the Tejo Geographical Indication for the production of white, red and semi-sparkling wines was recognized. With this new Geographical Indication, it is intended to give a new visibility and a new dynamic to wines produced in the Region, which with the continuous qualitative increase have been recognized nationally and internationally.
Located in the Center of Portugal, the region has undeniable natural conditions for the development of agricultural, forestry and livestock activities. The history of viticulture in the Tagus is lost in time, but the peak of trade in these wines was mainly in the 13th century, at the end of its first half, which in England alone, reached the figure of almost 30,000 barrels.
The vineyard also played a major role in the colonization of the Region. Between 1900 and 1960, the population of the continent increased by 61% having had in the Region, substantially the same evolution.
The main orographic accident is the Serra de Aires e Candeeiros, delimiting what we can call Medium Tagus and Lezíria do Tejo and in hydrographic terms the Tagus River; the climate of this region is temperate south-mediterranean, influenced by the Tagus River that runs through it, with an annual rainfall of about 500-600 mm.
We find in this Region three distinct production zones, known as "O CAMPO", "O BAIRRO" and "CHARNECA".
CAMPO, with its extensive plains, adjacent to the Tagus River, is also known as LEZÍRIA DO TEJO; it is subject to periodic flooding, which causes some disturbances, they are also responsible for the high fertility rates that those alluvial soils have. It is, par excellence, the white wine area, where the Fernão Pires variety is queen.
The NEIGHBORHOOD, located between the Tagus Valley and the foothills of the Porto de Mós, Candeeiros and Montejunto massifs, with soft-wavy clay-limestone soils, is the ideal area for red grape varieties, namely Castelão and Trincadeira.
CHARNECA, located to the south of CAMPO, on the left bank of the Tagus River, presents sandy and moderately fertile soils, and if on the one hand it determines yields below the Region's average, on the other hand it induces a thinning, either of wines whites or red wines.
The VQPRD «Vinho Verde» is characterized by having a set of very specific factors that define its typicality.
Effectively, the “needle”, freshness and intense aromas in white wines, as well as the youth of particular flavors in red wines, give the wines unique characteristics worthy of the recognition of this Denomination of Origin, not only for still wines but also for wines. sparkling wines, vinegars and «Aguacentes Bagaceiras e de Vinho» from the Vinho Verde Region.
It was also recognized the possibility of rosé wines enjoying the Denomination of Origin "Vinho Verde».
The wealth of this region is not limited to DOC, so other potentials should be highlighted, such as the exploitation of wines with a geographical indication, that is, the Regional Minho Wines. These wines also reach great levels of quality, being able to present different physical-chemical and sensorial characteristics or to be elaborated with several other grape varieties.
It is worth mentioning that the production area of the Regional Wine «Minho» coincides geographically with the production area of the Demarcated Region of Vinhos Verdes.
It should also be noted that Ordinance No. 28/2001, of 16 January, recognized the following nine sub-regions for products covered by the Statutes of the Demarcated Region that can be used as a complement to the Denomination of Origin: "Amarante", " Ave "," Baião "," Basto "," Cávado "," Lima "," Monção "," Paiva "and" Sousa ".
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