Northern Portugal and the Azores produce a special type of wine called “Green Wine”. Green wine varies in age, and alcohol content, but it tastes amazing! I am not a wine person (I personally prefer Scotch myself) so I don’t feel confident in giving a thorough wine evaluation.
When you think of wine country, you think of dry climates with lots of sun and warmth. The Azores are perpetually rainy and oscillate between cold and cool. In general, it is much too cold, wet, and windy for wine grapes to grow! The locals have found a way.
The grape vines live in a shallow hole in a pile of black volcanic rocks surrounded by low walls. The dark stones heat up with the sun and keep the plant warm through the winter nights. The stones also help drain water away, keeping the plants dry, and the walls keep the plants protected from the powerful winds that rage through the land.
The vines do not grow up, but instead sprawl on the rocks to keep them low on the ground.
Welcome to an Azorean vinard! Low rocks, and ocean views!
The vineyard is small, and only produces about 750 bottles per year. The bottles are only sold at a few local restaurants and I must say the wind is delicious!
Next time you think of “wine country’ and picture Napa, just remember that it could also look like this!