Vinho Verde is not a type of wine, it’s not a blend, neither a variety. It’s a Controlled Denomination of Origin.
First, let’s start by translating what Vinho Verde means, as well as why does this region has this name.
Vinho Verde literally translates to “Green Wine”.
Not because it’s green in color, but because in the past most of the vines were planted with the train system (around the fields) up to the trees, poles fences, etc. To the grapes, that meant less sun contact with the grapes and vines, which translated into more unripe bunches. The result were wines lighter in alcholol and high in acidity. Therefore, the “Vinho Verde” designation.
Note: Nowadays, most of the vineyards aren’t planted that way and you can also find wines with alcohol up to 13% alcohol.
Another reason why this region is named Verde (Green) it’s due the fact that most of the landscapes in this region are green all year-round – even though summers end up being very hot here.
That results in younger wines, and that would be the best translation to the Vinho Verde meaning.
With that said, even though wines in this region are known for their mineralitty, freshness, acidity, a few advacements in vinification and winemaking allow me to say that very soon we will start to see some exceptions to the rule.
For example, we at Sapateiro wines have alvarinho etc, bla bla that lasts longer (consider if I put a paragraph here like this or not)
Vinho Verde region
More about the Vinho Verde region
Stablished in 1908, this region is located in Northwest of Portugal. Its the biggest in Portugal and one of the biggest in Europe. That means a lot of variety goes on here!
You can find white, red, rosé, old harvests, sparkling wines and even brandy!
Now, not all wines from this region are DOC wines. In order to achieve DOC status, we producers have obey to many rules and be subject to strict control of all stages of the wine production.
A lot more could be said about the Vinho Verde, but for that I will leave you with the link for the official Vinho Verde website, where you can find a lot more about the topic.