Minho, the land of Vinho Verde
The verdant province of Minho, in the far north of Portugal, is best known for the wine called Vinho Verde. One of the most ecologically and topographically diverse regions of Portugal, it has an extreme Atlantic influence, a vividly green and humid landscape, cool temperatures, and abundant rains.
It is the largest DOC appellation in Portugal, with an area of 21,000 hectares, and is divided into nine distinct sub-regions; Monção e Melgaço, Lima, Basto, Cávado, Ave, Amarante, Baião, Sousa, and Paiva. Monção e Melgaço is the most unique sub-region; because it is protected from direct Atlantic influence, it is the only one that has both maritime and continental influences, resulting in more full-bodied wines with higher alcohol.
The predominant white grapes are Alvarinho, Arinto (locally known as Pedernã), Avesso, Azal, Loureiro, and Trajadura. Red grapes are Borraçal, Brancelho, Espadeiro, and Vinhão.