Regions and Appellations Portugal Beiras

Beiras Wine

Beiras (Beira) is a traditional administrative region in the northern half of Portugal. It is also the name of the IGP, or Indicacoes Geograficas Protegidas, wine classification (formerly known as Vinho Regional) which covers the region as a whole. A wide range of wines are made in Beiras – red wines from the region are typically rich, deeply colored wines made from Baga, Castelão, Rufete (Tinto Pinheira), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Touriga Nacional, and are sometimes fortified to emulate their more famous Oporto cousins. Whites are most often based on Fernão Pires and Bical, the latter being a small-berried variety with the affectionate nickname Borrado das Moscaos ('fly droppings').

Vineyards in Beira Interior
?Wines of Portugal

Beiras is relatively wide, as Portuguese regions go, and stretches from the Atlantic coast right to the border with Spain (about 100 miles/160km). It was traditionally a single region, but was later split into Beira Litoral (coastal Beira) and Beira Interior (inland Beira). The region encompasses several DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada) titles, among them Bairrada, Beira Interior and the famous Dão.

Terroir varies greatly in the Beiras region, which touches both sides of Portugal and takes in coastline, rivers, valleys, lakes, plateaux and low mountains. The same is true of the climate – although heavily influenced by the Atlantic in the maritime west, the continental draw of Spain's hot, dry center is strong in the east. In the west are the sandier soils of the coast, slightly inland are the limestone and clays of Bairrada, and the center has the alluvial soils of the Dão, Mondego and Ceira river valleys.

Baga is arguably the most important red wine grape in Beira. It typically makes up the lion's share of red wines, particularly in Bairrada, where it accounts for more than three-quarters of the red plantings. Prolific and late ripening, Baga's large crops are often threatened by the risk of autumn rains blowing in from the Atlantic, one of the more significant challenges facing the region's vignerons each vintage. Baga-based wines are typically deeply colored, highly acidic and very tannic – a consequence of their small berries and thick skins. French grapes Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah are increasingly popular across Beiras, as they are the world over, and are often used to soften Baga wines and make them more immediately appealing to those wine consumers not yet seduced by classic Portuguese wine styles.

For centuries Beiras has suffered the repercussions of a significant event in the wine history of Bairrada, its westernmost viticultural area. In the early 18th century the British appetite for port (produced in the nearby Douro valley) was reaching fever pitch, creating significant commercial opportunities. A number of Bairrada producers were caught exporting their Bairrada wines as port, and a number of legitimate port producers were found blending Bairrada wines into their own to increase output. Wine legislation and regulation was in its infancy back then (Tokaj and port were among the first), but so valued was the port name that the Portuguese government took immediate action to maintain its purity; Sebastião José de Carvalho, the country's vehemently nationalist First Minister, ordered that all vines in Bairrada be uprooted. The stain on Bairrada's reputation lasted well into the 20th century, and only in 1980 was the area finally granted official recognition as a Portuguese wine region.

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Most Popular Beiras Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Grape
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Niepoort Nat Cool Drink Me, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 8,074th $16
Colinas de Sao Lourenco 'Principal' Grande Reserva, Bairrada, Portugal Rare Red Blend 12,107th 90 $112
Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas, Beiras, Portugal Baga 13,362nd 89 $24
Casa de Saima Reserva Bruto, Bairrada, Portugal Portuguese White Blend 14,388th 87 $15
Filipa Pato & William Wouter Nossa Calcario, Beiras, Portugal Portuguese Red Blend 14,782nd 92 $36
Niepoort Poeirinho Baga, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 16,527th 91 $39
Vadio Tinto, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 16,839th 90 $17
Caves Sao Joao Quinta do Poco do Lobo Arinto, Beiras, Portugal Arinto (Pederna) 17,124th 89 $45
Caves Sao Joao Frei Joao, Bairrada, Portugal Rare Red Blend 18,393rd 85 $25
Luis Pato Quinta do Ribeirinho Pe Franco, Beiras, Portugal Baga 18,662nd 92 $165
Caves Sao Joao Frei Joao Reserva, Bairrada, Portugal Rare Red Blend 18,794th 88 $33
Caves Sao Joao Quinta do Poco do Lobo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Bairrada, Portugal Cabernet Sauvignon 19,162nd 89 $39
Niepoort Lagar de Baixo Baga, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 19,570th 89 $20
Mateus White, Beiras, Portugal Rare White Blend 21,755th $7
Caves Sao Joao Quinta do Poco do Lobo Reserva Tinto, Bairrada, Portugal Portuguese Red Blend 21,755th 88 $25
Quinta das Bageiras Garrafeira Tinto, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 22,641st 90 $32
Filipa Pato & William Wouter Post Quercus Baga, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 26,663rd 90 $23
Luis Pato 'Vinha Pan' Tinto, Beiras, Portugal Alicante Bouschet 27,169th 90 $35
Caves do Casalinho Ouro Velho Tinto, Beiras, Portugal Tinta Roriz - Tinto Cao - Touriga 27,430th $8
Caves Sao Joao 'Martins da Costa' Abafado, Bairrada, Portugal Portuguese Red Blend 29,296th $138
Filipa Pato & William Wouters 'Dinamica' Baga, Bairrada, Portugal Baga 29,640th $15
Filipa Pato & William Wouter Nossa Calcario Bical, Bairrada, Portugal Bical 30,224th 91 $28
Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Branco, Beiras, Portugal Bical 31,259th 89 $15
Caves Sao Joao Reserva Particular, Vinho Regional Beiras, Portugal Portuguese Red Blend 31,963rd $41
Quinta de Foz de Arouce 'Vinhas Velhas de Santa Maria', Vinho Regional Beiras, Portugal Baga 32,351st 90 $52
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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