Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Alvarinho, the Portuguese name of a distinctive white grape variety grown around the town of Moncão in the extreme north west of Portugal’s vinho verde country (and, as albariño, in neighbouring galicia). The grapes’ thick skins help them withstand the particularly damp climate, and can result in wines relatively high in alcohol (12 to 13%), acidity, and flavour. Alvarinho was one of the first Portuguese varieties to appear on the labels of varietal whites and is therefore one of the best known. Portuguese plantings had reached 2,340 ha/5,782 acres by 2010.