Beyond the fortified wines of Portugal, like Port and Madeira, there are many delicious wines made in that country. Some of the label terms may be hard to decipher, so here we have compiled some of the more-common wine terms you may encounter on bottles of wine from Portugal.
Discover the Portuguese varieties Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, or Tempranillo, Baga, Trincadeira, and Padeiro, as well as their growing regions!
Portugal is home to over 250 native grape varieties. These are referred to as “Autochthonous Grapes,” since they are indigenous to the place where they are found. Most of the grapes found in Portugal are not found or planted in other regions of the world.
If you guessed wine region, you’d be correct. Vinho Verde is the northernmost of Portugal’s winemaking regions. The region is located on the west of the Iberian Peninsula, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on its west. Due to its proximity to the ocean, the region’s climate resembles the lush and green Pacific Northwest. Vinho Verde translates literally as “green wines,” but in this case, the “green” means young wine that is released within three to six months after harvest, and it is meant to be drunk while young and vibrant.
1. Tempranillo is a very old variety with historical references to the grape dating back to 1807; however, it is believed that the variety was brought to the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal by the Phoenicians over 3,000 years ago.