Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Pico, dop on the island of the same name which is dominated by Portugal’s highest mountain, Ponto do Pico, a volcano. Pico has more vines than other islands in the azores because its crust of black basalt is an inhospitable environment for any other crop. Vines are planted in cracks filled with soil from the neighbouring island of Faial and protected from harsh winds and sea spray by volcanic rock walls (currais). This unique landscape has UNESCO World Heritage status. Traditionally licoroso wine (some fortified, some late harvest) from verdelho was the mainstay but Arinto do Açores represents 95% of plantings today and table wines have become more common since the vinho regional Açores was created.