There are several theories about the origin of this grape variety. If it originated in this territory, if it was brought from outside. Initially Alvarinho was only planted in the land attached to convents and it is thought that for reasons of climate and soil its adaptation only succeeded in specific areas of Galicia and Alto Minho, specifically where today are the municipalities of Monção and Melgaço.
The personality and character of Alvarinho was formed in this region, where it was born and grew up, before any written record. In 1920 appeared the first wine marketed with the brand "Alvarinho". Since then, its identity has been asserting itself, deeply contributing to change the way these lands developed. Its personality and character are as striking as the land that gives it its origin.
Its small grape, with a thick skin, makes it a grape variety with low productivity. However, its rarity combined with the very high quality and personality of the wines it produces, makes it considered by many to be the best white grape variety grafted in Portuguese vineyards.
It is near the Minho River that, in Monção and Melgaço, are located the numerous wineries, farms and producers of Alvarinho wine. When entering the gates of these counties, we can appreciate the vineyards of this variety, planted in magnificent amphitheaters, half hillside, in a unique micro-climate, protected by the mountains of Portugal and Spain, combining the Soil, the Sun, the Suffering, the Wisdom and the Quiet. Five "SS" for a wine full of art and life.
The characterization of a wine-growing region takes into account several factors, which will condition the wine we obtain from there. The terroir of Alvarinho is the combination of factors that interact: climate, soil, grape variety, and the action of man.
Monção e Melgaço benefits from a very particular microclimate in which viticulture has developed from the Minho River valley and its tributaries, up the mid-slope of the mountain, overcoming the obstacles of the terrain and altitude.
This mountain belt, formed by the mountains of the Minho Valley and the mountainous alignments of the Galicia Mountains, is responsible for the existence of a unique microclimate that essentially conditions precipitation, humidity and air temperature, with a thermal amplitude during maturation characterized by hot days and cold nights. This fact contributes to the protection of aromas, to the persistence of flavor, retaining its freshness and especially to its characteristic acidity.
More than unique characteristics in the morphology of the region, the Alvarinho of Melgaço is, in essence, the result of a collective knowledge, an accumulation of experiences and knowledge, a cultural heritage that previous generations left. Wine is more than a product, it is an integral part of the local cultural identity.
It is this combination of factors that gives a marked, unique, authentic and inimitable identity to the Alvarinho of Monção and Melgaço.