Home to otherworldly landscapes – from volcanic islands and forested beaches to steep mountains lined with UNESCO-protected vineyards – Portugal is a treasure trove of natural beauty. However, as with most thriving tourist destinations, certain highlights tend to attract tourists more than others: Lisbon’s ornate architecture or the winding river of the Douro, for example. For those keen to discover the country more deeply and differently, Vinho Verde awaits you.
Often confused as a style of wine rather than a physical location, Vinho Verde is made up of nine subdivisions located in the northwestern corner of the country, stretching all the way to the Spanish border . The landscape is one of rolling verdant hillsides, run through by two rivers (the Minho and the Lima), and the diverse microclimates produce unique, varied wines – not all of which are sparkling as you might expect .
also There are plenty of outdoor activities to distract you from a tasting session. For the more adventurous, go rafting on the Tâmega River or in the Gerês National Park. Alternatively, head to one of the region’s several charming villages, such as Amarante and Braga, where historic landmarks and culinary traditions stride forward, and spend an afternoon wandering the ancient cobbled streets kill time. The region’s history dates back thousands of years, yet somehow it remains largely unknown – making it a top spot for those looking for a destination off the beaten tourist trail in Portugal.
Here’s a primer on Vinho Verde, Portugal’s burgeoning wine tourism region.
Where to Stay
Vinho Verde’s lively neighbor has the most luxury accommodation: Yeatman in Porto and Six Senses in the Douro Valley, to name a few. Admittedly, forward-looking properties in the area are few and far between—for now, anyway. “Over the past few years, Vinho Verde has seen exponential growth in wine tourism and accommodation,” said Óscar Meireles, CEO and managing partner of Monverde. Despite this growth, he noted that most producers are still focusing on exporting wine rather than investing in wine tourism, often due to a lack of human resources. “Everyone knows that [increasing hotel services] is a huge boost for the brand and can even increase the value of Vinho Verde,” he added. Meireles estimates that there are currently about 10 prime properties, “with many others in project stages or scheduled to open this year.”