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All podcast music: “Café connection” by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 – Licensed under Creative Commons 
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Jul 12, 2022

Vinho Verde, the DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) Region, has made wine since Roman times. This region is one of the largest DOCs in Europe but within its boundaries there are vast differences between the nine sub regions. In this show,  Mafalda Teixeira Coelho, co-owner of Quinta da Raza and Pedro Campos, winemaker clear up a lot of the misconceptions about Vinho Verde. We learn about the terroir of this old and complex region, the various subregions, and how serious, and sometimes ageworthy wine is being produced here.

 

Photo: Mafalda Teixeira Coelho, co-owner of Quinta da Raza and Pedro Campos, winemaker (c)Wine For Normal People 

In September 2021, I visited the region and I just loved the wines of Quinta da Raza, I adored Mafalda and Pedro, and I thought they were perfect representatives to tell us about their corner of this big region, in Basto, and what they are capable of making in this unique terroir.

 

Here’s what we discuss in the show:

  • The diversity of Vinho Verde, it’s 9 sub regions and how proximity to the sea, position in the mountains, and soil type make big differences in the grapes you can grow and the resulting wines.

Map: Vinho Verde Commission

 

  • Pedro tells us about the Basto subregion, where Quinta da Raza is located. It is inland, on granite, schist, and clay soils. The location is a bit more continental with warmer summers and cooler winters than places near the coast, meaning grapes can get fully ripe and quite flavorful.

 

  • To understand Vinho Verde, you must understand the nuance between the granite terroir v. the schist terroir. Pedro tells us what the differences are and why they matter.

 

  • Mafalda shares the history of the estate and how it was passed down to her husband Diogo, who she manages things with today.

Mafalda Teixeira Coelho, co-owner of Quinta da Raza and her daughters,
(c)Wine For Normal People 

  • Pedro tells us about the main grapes of the region: Azal, Alvarinho, Avesso, Arinto, Trajadura, and the reds Padeiro and Vinhão. He tells us about the various brands of Quinta da Raza
    • Dom Diogo is the traditional brand that is sold mainly in the Portuguese market
    • Quinta da Raza is a more international style, and where you’ll find those more serious whites like Alvarinho, Avesso, and Gouveio
    • Raza is the very traditional, fizzy Vinho Verde of Arinto, Trajadura, and Azal, with the Rosé made of Vinhão, Padeiro and Espadeiro
    • Nat their line of Pet Nat (Petillant Naturel), sparkling wine made in the ancestral method with a single fermentation happening in the bottle from which you drink it

 

  • We discuss some of the important techniques they use to get high quality wine – traditional things like hand harvesting grapes and foot treading in stone lagares, and then more modern things like using stainless steel tanks and modern winemaking techniques.

Hand harvest at Quinta da Raza (c)Wine For Normal People 

  • Pedro tells us Alvarinho and Avesso are good candidates for aging, with Gouveio as a possible third.

 

  • We finish the conversation by talking about Quinta da Raza’s commitment to sustainability and the bright future for the Vinho Verde region and for the winery.

 

Quinta da Raza’s wines are fantastic. Seek out the basic Raza, but try to find the single varietals, they are inexpensive and drink way above their price point!

 

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