Verdelho

Name of varietal: Verdelho

Common synonyms: Breval. Often confused with Gouveio in Portugal and Verdejo in Spain, though it is not related to any of these. There is speculation that it is the same grape as Verdello in Italy.

Parentage of the grape: believed indigenous to Madeira island, Portugal

History of the grape: Verdelho has existed on the island of Madeira in Portugal at least as far back as the 15th century. It is both a grape and a style of one of the island’s fortified Madeira wines, falling in the middle between Sercial and Bual in terms of richness, with more acidity and smokiness. But the Phylloxera outbreak destroyed most of the once-prevalent vines, and only a fraction of it was replanted on the island. In the 1970s, a movement to grow more traditional grapes revived plantings on Madeira. Elsewhere in mainland Portugal and other parts of the world, it has since been cultivated for still white wines that are best consumed young.

Characteristics of the grape: as a dry white Read more »

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