Rare Portuguese grape varieties: a unique heritage

Published : 02/14/2024 - Categories : Taste Room

Rare Portuguese grape varieties: a unique heritage

Portugal is a country of indigenous grape varieties, a fact we've always been proud of! Only here you can find a Touriga Nacional, an Encruzado or an Arinto. The country, in general, has been resisting to introduce foreign grape varieties, thus maintaining a strong identity and helping to build the country's image, winning through difference.

There are around 250 indigenous grape varieties that have been winning over consumers. Today we are going to look at rare grape varieties, varieties with very small productions, some of which have even fallen into disuse, but which are being recovered by a small number of producers.

Callum, for example, has been an ex-libris in Castelo Branco for many centuries. To be saved from extinction, 92 clones were planted at Herdade do Lousial. The result was a wine with notable acidity, striking structure, creamy texture and delicate retronasal aroma.

Tinta Grossa was abandoned because it was too demanding in the vineyard. Paulo Laureano, renowned Portuguese winemaker, believed and insisted, and the result was worth the effort put into this “capricious” grape variety.

Recently, the renowned brand from Dão Pedra Cancela launched a range of rare grape varieties, where we can find names as distinct as Douradinha, Terrantez, Uva Cão, Monvedro and Malvasia Preta. If you are looking for differentiating wines, from very limited productions, you really can't miss this. More than wines, it is a unique experience for just over 50 euros. Good tastings!

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