Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 14

AD VERTO R IA L

MONÇÃO AND MELGAÇO
WINES YOU'LL NEVER FORGET
The Vinho Verde region
occupies the majority of the
Portuguese northwest and is
crisscrossed by scenic valleys
that add depth and complexity
to its wine production. At the
northernmost point, the valley
of the river Minho marks the
place where Portugal begins
in both geography and history.
From Monção and Melgaço, they
unravel before your eyes, in
every curve of the path, in each
granite stone window, in every
curl of the vine.
Monção and Melgaço are two
villages on the border with
Spain, founded over 700 years
ago. For many centuries, they
were the first line of defense
for the Kingdom of Portugal,
a status that their ancient city
walls and castles still attest
to today. The vine and wine
tradition in Monção and Melgaço
has deep roots. Wine has been
part of the daily life of the
valley's inhabitants since long
before the country's borders
were established. But by the 15th
century, it was already much
more than a local agricultural
product. The famous "vinho de
Monção" was eagerly sought
after by the English who lined
the Portuguese coast to trade it
for codfish.
THE TERRITORY
The Minho River separates this
region from its neighboring Rias
Baixas, located on the north
bank in Spain. The slopes of
the valley are blanketed with
coiled and meandering vines,
elegantly stacked, descending
smoothly to the river's edge.
The soil was once granite
stone that has been sanded
down by millennia of erosion.
It shimmers as the sunlight
hits its myriad textures. And
all around, the mountains loom
majestically. The territory of

Within the historic Vinho Verde region, established in 1908,
the Monção and Melgaço sub-region offers elements that
are both timeless and profound. This territory, located in the
northernmost reaches of Portugal, is home to some of the best
white wines in the country, wines that awaken the senses with
their quality, personality, and penchant for evolving nobly in
the bottle over many years.

Monção and Melgaço is like
a green amphitheater, facing
the river Minho and closed in a
semi-circle of stately hills that
protect it from the harsh winds
of the Atlantic, giving rise to
cold, rainy winters and hot, dry
summers. This exquisite natural
dome offers the sub-region
perfect conditions for the
production of excellent wines.
There, many distinct varieties
of grapes grow, particularly the
Alvarinho. Originating in the
Minho river valley, Alvarinho is
present in nearly every white
wine from Monção and Melgaço,
contributing decisively to its
identity. Although to a much
lesser extent, other varieties
affirm their presence, such
as Trajadura and Loureiro in
whites, and Borraçal, Vinhão or
Alvarelhão in reds.
THE PEOPLE
A wine region is not just made
up of hills and valleys, soils and
climates, vines and grapes.

In the genesis of a wine are,
above all, people. People
who, over the centuries, have
contributed to shaping the
profile of the territory and
transmitting its history, culture,
and knowledge to subsequent
generations. In Monção and
Melgaço, there are more than
two thousand winegrowers who
treat 1700 hectares of vineyards
over the course of each year,
following the flowering, the
birth and growth of the clusters,
controlling and avoiding
diseases and pests, and offering
the vines everything they have
until harvest, the long-awaited
moment when the grapes turn
into wine. Many of these farmers
are also winemakers who give
rise to the more than 250 wines
with the Vinho Verde Monção
and Melgaço certification.
Today, centuries old practices
inherited from ancestors
are merged with scientific
innovation. The vast majority
of Monção and Melgaço
producers are members of
a new generation, rooted in

their history, but with specific
training in viticulture and
oenology. In the vineyard and
cellar, they apply practices
and concepts that combine
tradition with modernity.
Knowledgeable, dynamic,
creative, attentive to
environmental sustainability
and biodiversity, they create
sublime wines that leave
a lasting impression
on wine lovers.
THE WINES
Monção and Melgaço wines are
unique, with characteristics
that set them apart from all
others made in the Vinho Verde
region, in the rest of Portugal,
or in the world. This does not
mean, however, that they
are the same. In Monção and
Melgaço, different styles
of wine coexist, which vary
depending on the specific
location where the grapes come
from, the mixture of varieties
used, or the will of the producer.
In a blend of Alvarinho and


https://www.winesofportugal.com/us/travel-wine/wine-regions/vino-verde/overview/

Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
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