A cheerful, translucid, lemon-yellow and slightly pétillant white wine, Vinho Verde literally means ‘green wine’ and is named after the northwest Portugese region from which it originates. The ‘green’ in the name refers to the youthful state in which the wines are customarily released and consumed, not the color of the wine.
It is typically a blend of various percentages of Alvarinho, Loureiro, Trajadura, and Pedernã (Arinto). Following initial alcoholic fermentation, a natural, secondary malolactic conversion in cask produces carbon dioxide, giving Vinho Verde its charmingly light sparkle.
Dating back to the late 18th century, Loureiro is native to Iberian Peninsula, grown mostly within the Minho region, though has flourished currently into neighboring Galicia. It produces a dry, high-toned, crisp white wine, redolent with aromas of white flowers and bay leaves. The grape is essential to the production of Portugeuse Vinho Verde and white blends of the Spanish region Rias Baixas. Somm Secret—The word Loureiro means “laurel” in Portugeuse, conveying the wine’s bay leaf aromatics.