Reaching from south of the Lower Douro to Portugal's border with Galicia in the north, the Minho, or Vinho Verde region is not only one of the largest wine regions in Europe, but also one of the most misunderstood. The appellation of Vinho Verde is a geographical, rather than stylistic designation, and is home to not only frothy young white wines, but also ageworthy whites (not least the Alvarinhos of the far north), reds, roses and sparkling wines. In fact, fiftyÂ years ago, 90% of the wine produced hereÂ was red, probably harking back to the time when the first English merchants to trade wine from Portugal entered the country at Viana de Castelo, not Oporto.
The white varieties which seem to really over-perform are Alvarinho in the far north, Loureiro in the lower coastal reaches (especially the Lima Valley) and Arinto in the mountain foothills. In each instance, we work with what we absolutely believe to be the best estate for each varietal. But we also mustn't forget red wine, of which the most distinctive grape is the Vinhao. Quinta da Raza produce a foot trodden example of this shockingly vibrant wine.
Raymond Reynolds Ltd supplies wines from the following producers in the Minho region:
Quinta de Soalheiro
Considered by many to be the finest of all Alvarinho producers in Portugal.
Quinta da Raza
Ancient family estate which has been given an amazing boost of energy from the current generation. For us, a class leader with Arinto.
Quinta do Ameal
The top producer of Loureiro-based dry whites, Ameal is now fully converted to organic status, and wowing the international critics.