Azores

The weather conditions in the nine islands of the Azores are not very favourable to vine growing. However, the vine has a long tradition in the region, where it is grown since the 15th Century. The Azores are famous for producing fortified wine in Pico and Graciosa, as well as for the production of a light, dry white wine in Terceira.
   

 Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores islands are made up of volcanic soils and have a typically maritime climate. Though having high precipitation and atmospheric moisture, temperatures are mild throughout the year. This way, the vines have to be planted in soils where they are naturally sheltered or protected by man. Stone walls are built to protect the vines from the wind and the sea salty air.

The Denominations of Origin of Graciosa, Biscoitos (Terceira) and Pico were created in 1994. Graciosa produces a white wine from the Verdelho, Arinto, Terrantez, Boal and Fernão Pires grapes. In the region of Biscoitos (Terceira) the Verdelho, Arinto and Terrantez grapes are used to make fortified wine. These same grape varieties are planted in Pico and used to produce the island’s fortified wine, which is considered the best wine in the region.

  • Comissão Vitivinícola Regional dos Açores
    Av. Machado Serpa (Edifício do Serviço de Desenvolvimento Agrário do Pico)
    9950-321 Madalena (Pico) - Açores
    Tel.: 292 62 36 05/292 62 36 06
    Fax: 292 62 36 06
    cvracores@mail.telepac.pt

Sub-regions

Azores sub-regions
  • 1| Graciosa
  • 2| Pico
  • 3| Biscoitos

Curiosities

  • The first vines

    The Azores, discovered in 1427 by Diogo Alves, are made up of nine islands. In the same year, the first settlers arrived in the islands and started growing vines.
  • Verdelho

    Verdelho is the most famous and most grown grape variety in the Azores. It is thought to be originally from Sicily or Cyprus and afterwards taken to the Azores by the Franciscan Friars, who cultivated it throughout the islands.
  • Pico Verdelho

    In the 17th and 18th Centuries, the wines produced in the Azores, namely the ones produced in Pico, were exported to Russia and most northern European countries. After the Russian revolution in 1917, several bottles of Pico Verdelho were found kept in cellars belonging to ancient Russian czars.