(Verdelho pronunciation: ver-DEL-oh)
The Verdelho grape is a relatively uncommon white wine varietal that originates from Portugal and has been most prominently planted on Portugal’s small island of Madeira. Since the 15th century, it has been a staple vine on the island and other regions in Portugal, however it also fell a victim to the Phylloxera disease that ravaged grape vines throughout the world and was nearly wiped out completely. Vintners were able to bring it back and it is now mostly grown in Portugal, but represents a small percentage of vines in Spain, Argentina and Australia and the US. We are very happy to have had the privilege of featuring the Verdelho varietal to our wine of the month club members!
Verdelho is a hearty and fairly vigorous vine which produces small, compact bunches of grapes with thick skins. Due to the size and shape of the grape, it also has a high skin to juice ratio which attribute to its intense flavors and aromas, namely those of citrus, honeysuckle and other fruity characteristics. The fruitiness does not mean it is necessarily a sweet wine. Portugal makes high end fortified wine out of the varietal but the majority of the wines produced from the Verdelho vine are dry wines.
It is often confused with other Portuguese varietals such as Verdelho Tinto, Verdelho Feijão and Gouveio, not to mention some international varietals such as the Italian Verduzzo grape and the Spanish Verdejo grape. While some of these varieties may share a similar DNA strain, they are in fact all separate vines!
Verdelho is slowly gaining traction as a single varietal wine but is also used in blends to enhance the flavor and freshness of the finished wine. The blending tactic is predominantly popular in Australian white blends.
See our recently featured Verdelho wines below, our first features being in our Gold Wine Club!