In the middle of the Atlantic ocean lies a spectacular nine island archipelago called Azores. This archipelago is one of two autonomous regions of Portugal, alongside Madeira. Three of the largest islands, Pico, Terceira, and Graciosa, make up the Vinho Regional dos Açores, or Azores wine region.
The climate across the central islands is typically mild, and the geography offers a stunning mix of beaches and mountains. Most of the soil across the islands is volcanic, which combines with the climate to give Azores wine its vast range of aromas and consistencies.
Winemakers on the island Pico meticulously grow their vineyards in “currais” (corrals). These currais are geometric squares, rectangles, or semi-circles separated by walls of stacked basalt stones. Winemakers use the currais to protect the vines from ocean winds, salt sprays, torrential rains, and even the occasional frost.
Most of the grapes grown in the Azores are white grapes, and include the Azores Arinto, Verdelho, and Pico Terrantez grapes.