The Villa Nogueira de Azetão (ah-say-tao) is the winemaking estate, home of Periquita, located a short distance from Lisbon, just across the Tagus River on the Setúbal peninsula. Here, the vineyards enjoy the benefits of a sun-drenched maritime climate and a varied soil composition that incorporates elements of sand, clay and lime.
The property remains in the hands of its founder's descendants (the family-owned concern of José Maria da Fonseca, one of the premier names in quality Portuguese winemaking), who remain committed to José Maria da Fonseca's long-standing tradition of quality and integrity. View all Jose Maria Da Fonseca Wines
About AlsaceView a map of Alsace wineries France and Germany, nestled between the Voges Mountains and the Rhine River. These landmarks give Alsace an ideal climate for the white grapes that have become the mainstays of the region. Pinot Noir is also grown, with plantings of the grape increasing with consumer demand for red wine.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Alsace underwent a territorial tug-of-war, bouncing from France to Germany and back to France again at the end of the first World War. While the French led the renaissance of fine wine production in the 20th century, Alsacians have integrated both French and German influences in their wine. Alsacian wines are mostly white, with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer leading the plantings. Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner are also popular varietals. The bottles are flute-shaped, like many German wines, and the type of grape is clearly placed on the wine's label – quite unlike the typical French practice of labeling wines by region.
Notable FactsAlsace wines have four noble varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. These are the only varietals allowed in the 50 Alsacian Grand Cru wines. Pinot Blanc, while not noble, is key in making many of the Cremant d'Alsace (sparkling wines) and is found in many Alsace AC blends. Most of the wines from the region are dry – with steely acidity and round fruit flavors, typically more full bodied (aka, more alcohol) than their German counterparts. There are also sweet wines and, of course, sparkling.
About PortugalPort, Madeira and corks is often overlooked when consumers think of red and white still wines – but take note! The table wines of the region have improved dramatically in the past few decades. The winemaking areas trickle down the country's narrow shape, bordered by the Atlantic on the west and Spain on the east.
Notable FactsFurthest to the north lies the region Minho, which produces the slightly spritzy white wine, Vinho Verde. Translated, it means green wine, not because the wine is green, but because it is meant to be drunk in its youth. Vinho Verde is a light, refreshing wine, low in alcohol and with a slight spritz. It can be made with a number of grapes, but the best whites are made with Alvarinho (same as Spain's Albarino). Red Vinho Verde exists too, but not much on the export market. For other red table wines, the three most common regions are the Douro, Dao, Bairrada and Alentejo.
In the Douro, home of Port, red wines are made from the primary port grape, Touriga Nacional, as well as Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo). Still red wines from the area are good quality and contain fruity, spicy notes. The Dao and Bairrida areas use Port grapes, as well as the local Tempranillo clone. They produce high quality, good value red wines. Bairrida also makes a few sparklers. Alentejo is a super big and super hot region in the south of Portugal making reds and whites.