Regions and Appellations Portugal Minho

Minho Wine

Minho is Portugal's northernmost wine region. It is known for one wine style above all others: crisp, light, white Vinho Verde, whose DOC zone covers the same territory. The Minho name is used for the area's Vinho Regional designation (similar to the French IGP).

The latter's looser production laws allow more diversity in the average winery's portfolio, including red and rosé wines. Minho VR was formerly known Rios do Minho before the Vinho Regional category was updated in 2008 to fall in line with the EU-wide PGI/IGP/IGT category.

Baroque church among the vines near Guimaraes, in the Minho region
?Shutterstock/John Copland

The region is located on the Portugal's Atlantic coast to the north and east of Porto, Portugal's second-largest city and the home of Port. It occupies a roughly rectangular area about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from north to south, which reaches about 50km (30 miles) inland.

There are around 60,000 hectares of vines planted in Minho. Many of these are dedicated to Vinho Verde, the country's largest DOC.

Minho Grape Varieties

A number of varieties are also found in Spains Rias Baixas region, which lies immediately to the north. The key grape varieties to be found in white Minho wines include the natives Alvarinho, Avesso, Loureiro, Pederna (Arinto) and Trajadura. Chardonnay and Riesling are the most common international white varieties.

The native red varieties include AlvarelhaoAzal Tinto, Espadeiro, and Caino Tinto. The globally popular Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also used.

Geography

Minho's proximity to the Atlantic is the reason why its land is so prolific for agriculture, including viticulture. In fact, this part of Portugal is known as the Costa Verde – a reference to its lush, green (verde) countryside. It has this in common with Spanish Galicia, immediately to the north. Rain-bearing winds blow in from the ocean, enabling the vineyards to produce much higher yields than those in drier, inland regions like neighboring Transmontano.

Minho is named, as are several Portuguese wine regions, after an important local river. The river Minho , which rises in the hills of neighboring Galicia (north-western Spain) forms the border between Spain and Portugal. Not just a vital source of water and transportation, the river's power is harnessed to produce a respectable proportion of Minho's electricity needs.

While the region's northern edge is marked by one important river, its southern edge is traced by a far more famous river; the famous Douro (Spain's Duero). The Douro bisects Minho's southern one-fifth, as it approaches the end of its long journey from the hills of Castilla y Leon.

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Most Popular Minho Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Grape
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Quinta de Soalheiro Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 6,935th 90 $16
Adega de Moncao 'Muralhas de Moncao', Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 11,946th 87 $8
Casal Garcia Branco, Vinho Verde, Portugal Arinto (Pederna) - Loureiro 12,662nd 85 $8
Broadbent Vinho Verde, Portugal Arinto (Pederna) - Loureiro 14,522nd 86 $9
Nortico Alvarinho, Minho, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 14,964th 88 $15
Anselmo Mendes Contacto Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 15,292nd 90 $16
Palacio da Brejoeira Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 19,162nd 88 $21
Niepoort Docil Loureiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal Loureiro 22,860th 89 $13
Aveleda Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 23,033rd 88 $11
Anselmo Mendes 'Parcela Unica' Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 23,425th 92 $37
Luis Seabra Granito Cru Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 23,806th 90 $28
Aveleda 'Quinta da Aveleda', Vinho Verde, Portugal Portuguese White Blend 24,466th 88 $8
Quinta do Ameal Loureiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal Loureiro 24,883rd 89 $16
Provam Portal do Fidalgo Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 27,693rd 89 $11
Jose Maria da Fonseca Twin Vines, Vinho Verde, Portugal Portuguese White Blend 29,017th 86 $8
Espiral Branco, Vinho Verde, Portugal Portuguese White Blend 29,017th 86 $8
Casa de Vila Verde, Vinho Verde, Portugal N/A 30,552nd 86 $11
Anselmo Mendes 'Muros Antigos' Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 30,901st 89 $15
Sogrape Vinhos Quinta de Azevedo Branco, Vinho Verde, Portugal Arinto (Pederna) - Loureiro 31,259th 86 $11
Quinta de Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 32,712th 90 $24
Gazela Branco, Vinho Verde, Portugal Loureiro 33,102nd 86 $7
Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova, Vinho Verde, Portugal Arinto (Pederna) - Loureiro 33,900th 87 $9
Vicente Faria Animus Branco, Vinho Verde, Portugal Loureiro 34,275th 87 $13
Sogrape Vinhos Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal Albarino (Alvarinho) 35,097th 88 $13
Quinta da Calcada 'Lago' Cerqueira Rose, Vinho Verde, Portugal Vinhao (Sousao) 36,870th 86 $9
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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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