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Designation of Origin Trás-os-Montes
Tras-os-Montes is a Portuguese appellation of origin (DO) for wines produced in the demarcated region of the same name. The location of this vast region is beyond the mountains of Marâo and Alvâo, north of the river Duero and east of the Miño, to the Spanish border that limits it to the north. The entire area of Trás-os-Montes, to the north of the area delimited by the Duriense Geographical Indication, was designated as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and is called Vinho Regional Transmontano. This area includes the sub-regions located in the northeast of the country as they are:
- Planalto Mirandês
The wines of Trás-os-Montes can be white, red, rosé, generous and sparkling, additionally, eau-de-vie is produced under this same name. It is almost endless the list of grape varieties, which help to combine the excellent wines of the region among them we have:
- Red: Alicante Bouschet, Bastardo, Castelão (Periquita) Cornifesto, Malvasia Preta, Marufo, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Carvalha, Aragonez (Tinta Roriz), Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão, Trincadeira (Tinta Amarela), Baga, and Moscatel Galego Roxo.
- White: Malvasia Fina, Gouveio, Moscatel Galego Branco, Alvarinho, Bical, Síria (Roupeiro), Boal Branco, Carrega Branco, Côdega de Larinho, Donzelinho Branco, Arinto (Pedernã), Fernão Pires (Maria Gomes), Rabigato, Samarinho and Viosinho.
In the whole region, there are several excavated places of Roman and pre-Roman origin. The existence of old vines with century-old chestnuts also marks in a very peculiar way the recognized quality of the wines of this region. Since Romanization, wine has been produced in the region of Trás-os-Montes and due to the low density of the population at that time, its viticulture was oriented towards self-consumption and at most towards regional supply, with high differentiation according to the terroir in which they are produced.
In 1989, the Regional Winemaking Committee of Trás-os-Montes was created and delimited as its own region, which is also identified by the acronym CVRTM, responsible for the certification of wine products entitled to the Trás-os-Montes Designation of Origin (DO) and for the Transmontano Geographical Indication (IG), and since 2010 has been officially designated as a Certifying Entity. Research and professional training are carried out by the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), which in turn shares collaboration agreements with the Polytechnic University of Valencia in the field of Oenology and Viticulture.The elaboration of wines
The vineyard is planted on the mountain slopes of small valleys, where the tributaries of the river Tamega flow. The traditional vineyards occupied the mountainous slopes traced in the manner of contour lines. Tillage was carried out with the resources of animal traction, almost always with donkeys.
The sub-region of Valpaços, located in the plateau, is the richest in water resources, while in the Mirandese plateau, the presence of the Douro river influences viticulture. The red wines of this region are generally fruity and slightly astringent. The soils vary greatly between sub-regions. They begin in the west (Chaves) with predominantly alkaline granitic soils, mixed with schists. Granite is, from a morphological point of view, a disconcerting rock, hard and friable at the same time, with fine and coarse grain. It is accompanied by the presence of archaic Precambrian sediments and in a small area of calcareous spots and alluvium. The soils of the Chaves plain are very fertile and classified as first class.
More relevant information
There are great wines in this region, but their availability in the market is very variable given that due to their artisan production some lack a distributor and others are the result of small productions. In Trás-os-montes, excellent wines proliferate, suffering from the failures of an incipient local industry. This makes them unknown to consumers and some are only found in restaurants, which makes it difficult to establish an oenological pattern for tasting and purchase.
It is also true that it would be necessary to have sales stands sponsored either by the municipal corporations or by the wineries themselves. Despite the small productions, their quality justifies the marketing effort. It is surprising how the foreign oenologists who stopped for these payments are orienting the winemaking activity in such a way that it is gaining visibility by leaps and bounds.This small and hidden landscape deserves greater growth and to be known not only in the region or the country but in the whole world.
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