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2002 Book of Topographies

Bairrada - a region with history and future

It is likely that the vines had the Bairrada expression significant in times of Roman domination. The descriptions of dr. Jose Rodrigues, in the Aguim Couto, along these lines.

Less controversial is the great development of viticulture still time before the foundation of nationality, as the documents show the famous monastery of Lorvão, where the vineyard is in almost all villages bairradinas cited therein.

In medieval quarter, similar to other European regions, the congregations were large dynamic religious culture of the vine, and in the monasteries of Lorvão and Santa Cruz.

The increasing commercialization of the economy made the wine in the main source of income for farmers, noting sognificativo is a volume of shipments by river and sea, from the seventeenth century.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the district has already u MEPs high production of wine in Portuguese, are usually considered, according with the testimony of Antonio Augusto de Aguiar, the second region in order of importance, following the Douro.

The appearance of powdery mildew and filoxérica crisis, beyond the consequences económicase techniques that gave rise, resulted in an act of far-reaching government, which the creation of the School of Viticulture and Practice of pomology Bairrada - today the Bairrada Wine Station - so that relevant services would provide the region and the country

A wine law of John Franco in the first decade of the twentieth century, enshrines some Portuguese regions demarcated and points to the creation of others, including the Bairrada. This objective was only to be reached in 1979 after a decade of neglect and leave, that only heard the voice of the professor Americo Urbano indomitable.

Even so, the region can build, from 1920, a number of notable companies - the Caves of neighborhoods - some of which are said long in demanding foreign markets.

Viticulture with a long history as has, inevitably, high and low, in relation to various economic and social conjuntoras. But, therefore, is to assist the security conferred by time - this great judge the quality of things and men.

The emergence of diseases of the second half of the nineteenth century as a result brought the progressive selection of more varieties resistance and productivity. This explains the loss of importance of caste as Xara, and Castelão Bastard and hegemony of Berry - already seen and condemned by António Augusto de Aguiar in 1866.

At the time of the creation of the Bairrada appellation of origin, the Berry represented more than 90% of regional grapes. This was, perhaps, the advantage of customizing the red wines of Bairrada degree unknown in other regions, acquiring some great renown. Had, however, the inconvenience, in significant areas of the region, the production base, still in deficit with grape maturity. Therefore, the conversion of these areas varietal wine is a clear priority.

The technology of the red wine has remained almost unchanged to this day, and agree, more rational and more to the quality of some systems in use in the great wine industry. These are the stages and operations more Important:
- Transport in the wicker baskets (baskets ditcher);
- Step of grapes in lagareta or mill, in which case the body manual Transfer crushed to waterman wood;
- Partial fermentation in the stone mills / masonry or waterman, resulting in the latter case a more intense maceration due to the higher temperature achieved;
- Completion of alcoholic fermentation in barrels of wood and maintenance on lees until the sale of wine in the spring.

Modern Enologia already recovered some of these ideas, enhancing them with the knowledge that our ancestors lacked. It is case of fermentation in mills, subtituíndo now open for deposits of hygienic stainless steel. This is the case, too, the finish of fermentation in vessels of wood, now using barrels of oak and a tight control and analytical sensory wine.

The adaptation to new realities of the market is pushing the producers, bottlers and the more dynamic the Bairrada (private and cooperative) for the restoration of the vineyard and improving the technology of the vineyards and wines. In many cases, the results of this effort are in sight for several years and represent the paths of success. In other cases, these results begin to emerge with a real level of excellence.

There are therefore many reasons for hope, because the district has business and men of quality. And we all know how human factors are decisive for the quality of wines and for success in the markets.

Eng º Dias Cardoso (Enologist)

Reach the neighborhood and ... be

I arrived late to the Bairrada. But it was to stay. Reached, finally, the heart of Wine Country. It is, strangely, on the right. But it is, it hits and runs strong, abundant and constant, the dark-red blood and lymph of the grapes, often seething, its white?

It is a place to let be. Not for use, hastily, your space, from north to south or from south to north, as did so many times. Stopped only at the call of hunger or seduced by the aromas of the pig to eat. Sometimes without fully enjoy the gastronomic offer of typical region.

However, take me, often times forgotten in the Minho where everything is green, green, green. Where the vines climb up the trees, as did millions of years ago, and we must climb a ladder to get to reap the incredible bunch of which are the white to refresh the body and the red to wash the soul.

Walk the Douro, impressive set of pyramids of steps that descend from heaven to the river, where women go up and men, during the harvesting, sweating and singing, because the wine is bread, but, above all, joy and blessing. Navigate down river to the port where all the fine wine before coming to rest from later to give pleasure to the world.

Les de les go to the Beiras, whose wines are among the oldest of that memory in our country, as demonstrated by the many mills dug into the rock by the Romans if they were not before the Lusitania. Rich land and abundant mainly good wine, bread and nuts, as shown Severim Manuel de Faria on the principles of Six.

Cruz in all senses, Extremadura, where the vineyards, ancient, will from next to the sea to land far inland, and wine, well known to the Romans, was devoted throughout his term by the Cistercian monks. And where, spientes master the art of good taste all the wine I sent in the ED, the secrets of Dionysos.

I went to party in celebration in Ribatejo where, as you know, the vineyards and wine of contemporaneous founding of Portugal, were one of the goods but appreciated the Romans and other peoples who preceded them. And today shows one of the largest patches of wine country with an impressive range of wines.

Peninsula de Setúbal, between the Tagus and Sado, found me with Noah, or better, with their offspring, among which tubal, which has brought it to the first strains. Another Mesopotamia where even the Moors worked in vineyards and Knights of Santiago recharge your faith with strength and good drinks in white and red, and most of all, of muscat.

Sulquei the waves of green wheat Alentejan until May and then in later waves of the vineyards in that region transtagana give seas of red and white tranship of carvings from ancient times. Where to keep on produced. The best. Why the Alentejo is not just bread.

With the neighborhood was different. I arrived late, again. Taken as a second Wine Region of Portugal, the most important after the Douro, as António Augusto de Aguiar, not particularly attracted me. Who knows, by the fault of the Author of the Conference on Wine. When writing about the variety of lower quality. Aguiar also said that you can make it a good wine if you leave mature and well, especially if accompanied by others in the wine and that wine can not in general consist of a single variety, because few are in the case of produce wines complete.

AAA was almost but not quite right, but later came to understand and experience. Therefore needed to learn more and the land itself. I therefore in the neighborhood to learn. Not only in eVB in Anadia (now the luster is often at least twice a year) with teachers who share the knowledge without receiving anything in return, but also with many friends who received me with open arms and have been patients with my ignorance in many fields, and curiosity willingness to learn at all.

So I stuck the Bairrada, not so much by the landscape and the wine, not so much by this as the wine (and if found, superb, until only the berry wine, or whether the recent crop of very aintigas! And yet, in the cellar Buçaco of the Palace Hotel, a great lord of my age - in 1927 - perhaps a bit weakened but live), even by mere enofilia but by friendship to women and men bairradinos leading to a limit of perfection the art of making wine (from Berry, Maria Gomes and many other varieties of native or acclimated) and friends do their lifestyle.

Oliveira Figueiredo (Journalist)

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