Portugal is a country that enchants wine lovers with the diversity of grape varieties it offers. Among these jewels of Portuguese winemaking, the Alfrocheiro grape variety stands out for its elegance and structure.
This grape variety is recent, originating at the beginning of the 20th century in the Dão wine region after Phyloxera. This region, located in central Portugal, is recognized for being the natural cradle for the growth of vineyards due to its highly rich terroir, located in a mountainous area well above sea level, which gives the grapes excellent development.
The Alfrocheiro grape variety made Dão its natural home. However, it began to expand to the south of the country, to regions such as Alentejo, Tagus and Palmela. One of the most striking characteristics of this grape is its name "Alfrocheiro", which is a tribute to its dark and intense color.
This grape is recognized for its small, compact clusters, which are harvested at a moderate size. This variety generally needs extra care when it comes to its cultivation, as it easily suffers from powdery mildew and gray rot. Furthermore, the vines of this variety adapt very well to a variety of soils, which makes it versatile in terms of cultivation.
Alfrocheiro grapes are relatively small, but they make up for it in concentration and flavor. Wines produced with this grape variety tend to age very well. After a period of maturation, this grape matures, softens its tannins and develops a lot of complexity, causing them to reach their peak after a few years in the bottle, providing a unique experience for its lovers.
Furthermore, in the Dão region, where winemaking tradition is deeply rooted, Alfrocheiro is often the main star, with its distinctive touch of elegance and structure to renowned red wines. In cuts, it harmonizes with other grape varieties such as Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, resulting in balanced, harmonious wines that capture the essence of Dão.
The wines produced from the Alfrocheiro grape variety are marked by intense aromas and flavors. On the nose, it is possible to find notes of red fruits, such as strawberries and wild berries, as well as light subtle touches of spices, which add complexity to the sensorial experience. In the mouth, Alfrocheiro reveals its firm structure, a remarkable balance between alcohol, its well-integrated tannins and acidity, in addition to presenting good sweetness. Roasted goat or lamb meat are great options to pair with wines from this variety.
Alfrocheiro is a true Portuguese treasure, be sure to try wines made from this variety and share it with those who like it most.