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 Tempranillo is a very old variety with historical references to the grape dating back to 1807; however, it is believed that the variety was brought to the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal by the Phoenicians over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.
Rosé is a style of wine that is made when juice from red grapes is left in contact with the skins for only a short period of time. The resulting wine has more characteristics of the grapes themselves, and not usually any tannins or other flavors from the skins. This skin contact gives the wine shades of delicate pinks or oranges, up to bright and vivid salmons or deep pinks, depending on the amount of contact and possibly the winemaking techniques used.
Thomas Jefferson, a big proponent and consumer of wine, toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 with Madeira. Following George Washington’s inauguration on April 30, 1789, Madeira was served.