The Beira Interior region is a wine region of Portugal, located in the centre of the country. It is one of the biggest wine-producing regions in Portugal, known for its continental climate, with harsh winters and hot summers.
For centuries, Beira Interior's wines have been appreciated mainly at a local and regional level. And it is often said that Portuguese wine was not known internationally because we consumed it, and I can say the more I write about this subject the more I am convinced of that story. However, in the last few decades, there has been an effort to improve the quality of national wines and promote them internationally. Because of this, today the wines from Beira Interior are recognised for their diversity and distinctive character.
Let's start with the unique grapes grown in this region which in themselves contribute to this authenticity, providing unique flavours and aromas not easily found in other wine regions.
Starting with the diversity of the Beira Interior region that produces a variety of wine styles, both white and red. The white wines from Beira Interior are mostly fresh, with good acidity and intense fruity aromas, they may vary from light and citric to more full-bodied and floral depending on the grape used. The red wines of this region are complex and concentrated, with soft tannins and notes of multiple ripe fruit, spices and the usual mineral touches of this region.
The Beira Interior region is known for its variety of grapes such as Siria, Fonte Cal, Malvasia Fina and Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, among others. These grapes are used to produce a wide range of wines, from fresh and aromatic whites to full-bodied and intense reds.
Some of the region's most famous wines include the Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) Beira Interior wines, which are produced according to strict quality standards.
These wines are very influenced by the climate of this region and the influence of the altitude, so Beira Interior's wines are very well balanced between its acidity and the remaining factors of a high-quality wine. This harmony provides freshness and vivacity in these wines, making them pleasant to drink and versatile in combining flawlessly with any kind of lunch, dinner or type of meal.
Again, as also in other regions upstream the soils here are granite and schist, which in itself gives the Beira Interior wines their distinct mineral note. With this, many of the wines from Beira Interior started to be coveted for their excellent ageing potential because of their structure and concentration of flavours. With time, these wines may develop greater aromatic complexity and smoothness of tannins which make them a product of excellence and unique in the wine market.
In terms of flavour, Beira Interior wines may present a wide range of profiles, depending on the grape variety, the winemaking style and the maturation stage. That is why white wines display flavours of citrus fruits, white fruits, and green apples, as well as floral and mineral touches. Red wines, on the other hand, have flavours of ripe red and black fruits, spices, herbaceous and earthy notes.
Beira Interior wines have gained recognition in recent years, winning awards and praise in international competitions. The region has invested in modernising and improving its winemaking practices, which has contributed to increasing the quality and reputation of its wines.
It should be noted that each wine is unique, and the sensory experience may vary according to the producer, the vintage and other specific factors. The best way to discover the flavour of Beira Interior's wines is to taste them and explore the diversity the region has to offer.
The history of Beira Interior wines dates back to ancient times, with evidence of wine production in the region since Roman times. However, it was during the Middle Ages that viticulture in the region gained prominence, especially with the influence of the Cistercian monks, who introduced new techniques of cultivation and wine production.
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.