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In 2010 when Vera Vinho Verde was launched, there was nothing else quite like it on the market. The idea was simple, to produce an overall better product using only selected estate fruit, offer less carbonation, and make the wine dryer. Up to this point and beyond, the popular style of Vinho Verde was light-bodied, lightly effervescent, slightly sweet, simple, pleasant, easy. There is nothing wrong with this. It served a purpose. In fact, Coca-Cola itself, was delayed decades of availability in the Portuguese market because of pressure on the government by the producers of Vinho Verde. Essentially, they feared the arrival of thw world’s most popular drink would cut into their market share. However, in a large region such as this, circumstances invariably start to shift, and with popularity, comes a desire to do what you are doing better. Vera wanted to be that important, yet subtle difference; a small step towards better quality. Vera is based in the Basto sub-region, which in the southeastern part of the Vinho Verde region, inland, away from the blustery Atlantic. The soils here are dominated by granite. The winters here are cold and damp, and the growing season fairly mild. The vines average around 25 years old. The estate consists of 104 sub plots, traditionally trained up high to protect against blight, and keep the vineyards healthy and the grapes fresh and vibrant.


The Vera Rose launched a year later in 2011. The idea was the same, to produce a Vinho Verde that had less residual sugar, less frizzante, more character, and using fruit from the estate, in this case, Vinhao and Rabo de Anho.


Vinho Verde is a wine region and the name for the wines from that region, by and large. Located in the Minho region in the Northwest corner of Portugal, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the  Tras-os-montes and Porto regions to the east, the Barriada and Dao wine regions to the south, and the Minho River, marking the line between Portugal and Galicia in Spain to the north. As a wine region, Vinho Verde was delineated in 1908. However, in 1976 portions of now dissolved regions to the south were incorporated into Vinho Verde. There are nine subregions within the Vinho Verde DOC: Amarante, Ave, Baiao, Basto, Cavado, Lima, Moncao e Melgaco, Paiva, and Sousa. Vinho Verde presently has some 21,000 hectares of vineyards, or just under 10% of the totality of Portugese production. There are over 19,000 producers in the region, and 86% of all Vinho Verde produced is white.


Within the region both still and sparkling are produced, as well as red, white, and rose. There are various indigenous grape varieties permitted in Vinho Verde. However, the most popular are Alvariho, Arinto, Loureiro, Trajadura, and Fernao Pires for whites. Reds and roses tend to be made from Espadeiro, Azal, Borracal, Sousao, and Rabo de Ovelha.


Vera Vinho Verde Branco


This is typically 60% Arinto, 30% Azal, and 10% Loureiro, sourced from the Basto sub region, at an elevation of 320 meters above sea level. The vines were planted in 1998 to sandy loam, granite soils, with a small amount of schist. The grapes are manually harvested into small crates, with the Loureiro being picked first, followed by Arinto, then Azal. After destemming there is a gentlre press. The juice is settle for 48 hours prior to fermentation in stainless steel tanks. There is a gentle filtration prior to bottling in February of the following year. The wine is vegan. Vera has an acid-driven medium body, with loads of lip-smacking green apple, lime, fresh herbs, pommelo, and white brambles, and indeed fresh green grapes. The bubbles are ever-so-slight, only to lift the citrus qualities, and make the drinker crave more. This would be perfect on a warm day with peppery fried calamari English fish and chips, or a California Roll with Bonita flakes.


Vinho Verde Rose


This is typically 80% Rabo-de-Anho and 20% Vinhao, from vines planted in 1985. The vineyard soils are sandy loam over mostly granite, and sit at 320 meters above sea level. After destemming and gentle pressing, the juice is settled for 2 days in temperature controlled vats. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks with temperature control. The wine is filtered prior to bottling in February of the following year. This is a vegan wine. In 1991, this was the first house to ever produce rose in Vinho Verde DOC. Vinho is the bolder of the two grapes, and brings in the majority of the colour. Rabo de Anho (Pig’s Tail probably referring to the shape of the clusters) brings levity and freshness. Vera has classic rose notes of strawberries and watermelon, along with plenty of floral attributes. Additionally, the granite adds an almost ferrous minerality to this mixture, creating a harmony of fruits and savoury elements. Light seafood dishes, sushi of all kinds, and charcuterie are ideal pairings with Vera Rose.




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