Known for its connection to the Vinho Verde region, the Alvarinho grape is beginning to make its presence felt in other regions, giving rise to new journeys in the world of wine.
The Douro is one of the regions that has been enthusiastically welcoming the production of this very popular grape.
When you combine a unique terroir with one of Portugal's most famous white grape varieties, what can you expect from this marriage?
Discover in this article the main characteristics that can be found in Douro wines made from the Alvarinho grape variety.

Alvarinho: what makes this variety so popular?

While there is no denying the historical relationship this grape variety has with the Monção and Melgaço area in Minho, today you can find this type of grape all over the country and even in other parts of the world.
Why has a grape variety like Alvarinho, which is very old and low in production, become so coveted?
The answer is simple. Apart from its ability to produce high quality, elegant white wines, this is a grape variety that adapts to different types of soil and climate. It is also very versatile in the cellar and can produce wines of different styles and categories.
The unique and complex characteristics of the Alvarinho variety allow it to enhance the specific profile of each terroir where it is grown, providing very distinct sensory experiences.

The terroir of the Douro: a perfect place for Alvarinho to flourish

We can say that the Alvarinho grape variety has found a good home on the slopes of the Douro.
Combined with the plasticity and adaptability of this type of grape, the Douro region has a number of characteristics that favour the healthy growth of this variety.
Starting with the climate. The Alvarinho variety thrives in cooler, wetter climates. These climatic conditions, which contribute to the freshness and acidity of its grapes, are found in some areas of the Douro, namely in the higher altitude zones with less sun exposure.
The region's soils are also considered good for the development of this grape variety. Predominantly schistose, the Douro's soils not only ensure good drainage of the land, avoiding excess moisture near the roots of the vines, but also contribute to the minerality of the wines produced with this grape, adding greater complexity.
The cultivation of vines in some higher altitude soils, such as in the Douro, is another factor that can influence the complex and elegant profile of these wines. In the highlands, the grapes are subject to significant thermal amplitudes, caused by the difference between the temperatures during the day and at night. The Alvarinho grape variety reacts well to this natural balance between heat and freshness. This context not only allows the grapes to ripen more slowly and in a more balanced way, favouring the gradual development of flavours and aromas, but it also allows for the preservation of acidity, a fundamental component for the structure of the wines produced from this variety.
In short, the Alvarinho variety not only adapts harmoniously to the Douro terroir, but also enhances the wines produced in the region, highlighting the characteristics that make up its essence.

Alvarinho in the Douro: what wines can we expect from this combination?

A white wine from the Douro made from the Alvarinho grape variety offers an experience of enormous sensory richness. By combining the expressiveness of the grape variety and the distinctive nuances of the region, these are some of the expectations we can have when we taste one of these wines:

1. Intense floral and fruity aromas
The captivating aromatic expressiveness of this grape variety is one of its hallmarks.

2. Vibrant acidity
The striking but balanced acidity is another distinguishing feature that makes these wines a refreshing choice.

3. Medium to full-bodied
Alvarinho wines from the Douro generally have a more substantial structure, rich in sensations, which makes them a versatile choice for different occasions.

4. Freshness and a sense of minerality
The influence of the Douro terroir, with its schist soils, gives Alvarinho wines a distinctive minerality, adding flavour and character to their taste.

5. Persistence and longevity
The persistence of flavours in the mouth is one of the aspects that makes these wines interesting to the palate of connoisseurs looking for a longer-lasting experience. Some of these wines have great ageing potential and age well in the bottle.

6. Versatile pairing
The gastronomic versatility of these wines makes them the perfect companion for a wide variety of flavours. From seafood and fish dishes to poultry and soft cheeses, Alvarinho wines allow for harmonisations that will easily captivate the palate.

Alvarinho & Sercial

Whether in  single varietal wines or blends, the Alvarinho variety always manages to add a unique signature, bringing freshness, elegance and complexity to the white wines of the Douro region.
The commitment to growing this grape variety in the Douro is closely linked to the desire for innovation and the quest to create distinctive wines. As this is a desire shared by Sogevinus, our winemakers have also been enchanted by the versatility of Alvarinho and are now launching a new product.
Meet Burmester's new Alvarinho & Sercial, a white wine from the Douro that brings you a surprising vision of the region, without neglecting its identity.

Now available in our  Uva Wine Shop. Don't miss it!