Portugal gets passionate about pushing its whites

13 June, 2008

More than 50 Portuguese producers show ed wines made from

indigenous white grapes at a tasting organised by the Independent Winegrowers' Association

in a bid to promote Portugal as a white wine producer.

On show at the Portuguese Embassy in London were 61 wines selected by an independent judging panel

comprising Charles Metcalfe, Sarah Jane Evans MW and Portuguese wine journalist David Lopes Ramos, who blind-tasted more than 120 wines before making the final selection.

Highlights included Frei Gigante 2006, an Arinto/Verdelho/Tarrantez blend from the Azores; Gouveio/Viosinho blend Vertice 2007 from Caves Transmontanas in the Douro; and Soalheiro 2007, a varietal Loureiro from Vinhos Verdes-based Quinta de Soalheiro.

Pedro Araujo, of Quinta do Ameal, said: "Portugal has a lot of diversity in terms of the wine it produces and in the past 15 years quality has improved dramatically. But our white wines aren't from the kind of grape varieties that people are used to. Now the quality is there we've got to raise awareness in the UK market."

Ana Sofia Oliveira,

of ViniPortugal, said: " We need to show we are different than what people think about us, which is usually just port and rosé. Portuguese wines are all about passion and tasting something different."




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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