A Guide to Portuguese Grape Varieties

Portuguese Grape Varieties

Red Grapes

Alfrocheiro Preto: main grape in the Dao, rich in color

Aragonês: see Tinta Roriz

Baga: - Main grape used for wines in Bairrada appellation, also used in Alentejo and Ribatejo. High quality grape.

Bastardo: - funny named grape grown in the Douro, early ripening. Used in Dao extensively

Castelão Frances: - see "Tricadeira Preta". Called "Periquita" in Ribatejo, and "Joao do Santarem"

Moreto: widely grown blender grape all over Portugal, not used in single varietal wines

Mourisco: small plantings in the Douro

Ramisco: - Main grape in Colares region, very tannic

Tinto Cão: Douro grape also being used to make high quality still red wines

Tinta Amarela: grown in the Douro, Ribatejo, Estremadura and also Alentejo (where it is called Trincadeira Preta)

Tinta Barroca: ancient grape varietal, grown in the Douro for hundreds of years, one of the blender grapes for most ports. Interestingly this grape is being grown widely in South Africa.

Tinta Roriz: called Tempranillo in Spain, in Portugal it is used widely in Port making and also in the production of still reds in the Alentejo where it is called " Aragonês", in Dao and in the Douro for table wines

Touriga Francesa: one of the main grapes grown in the Douro (over 20% of all plantings), characterized by its powerful bouquet

Touriga Nacional: considered to be one of the best grapes in Portugal, a noble variety, One of the principal grapes grown in the Douro Valley for port wines and also the Dao.

Trincadeira Preta: also called Tinta Amarela and Castelão Frances

White Grapes

Antao Vaz: citrussy, acidic grape used in Alentejo

Alvarinho: grown in Northern Portugal and used for Vinho Verde, high quality. Some say related to the "Albariño" of Galicia, Spain

Arinto: used in the Bucelas appellation for still and sparkling wines, also widely in the Alentejo (for delicious dry, lemony fruity whites), Bairrada, Setúbal and other regions

Avesso: used in the Vinho Verde appellation, aromatic and acidic

Boal: there are five strains of this grape, the most famous being the Boal used in Madeira

Códega: historic Portuguese varietal which produces good alcohol, low acidity and high yields. Also called "Roupeiro"

Encruzado: - high alcoholic white grape seen frequently in the Dão

Esgana Cão: colorfully translates as "Dog Strangler"! Also called "Sercial" in Madeira. Highly acidic white used as a blender grape all over Portugal

Fernão Pires: reminiscent of Muscat this is an aromatic grape used in the Douro, Setúbal, Alentejo and other regions. Called "Maria Gomez" in Bairrada

Gouveio:see "Verdelho"

Malvasia Fina: aromatic white used all over Portugal including white port

Malvasia Real: high yielding white, not as well regarded as Malvasia Fina

Perrum: one of the main white grapes of the Alentejo and also Algarve

Rabigato: "Ewe´s Tail", this is a high yielding grape grown all over the country. Also called "Rabo d´Ovelha"

Roupeiro: Quality grape, honey flavored grape when grown in the Alentejo (also called Codéga")

Sercial: main grape used in Madeira fortified wines

Verdelho: One of the noble white varietals of Madeira. Australia is growing this Portuguese varietal extensively.

Viosinho: lesser white of the Douro, used in white ports

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