Alvarinho, also known as Albariño in Spain, is a white wine grape variety primarily grown in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal and the Rías Baixas region in Galicia, Spain. It is the most highly regarded white grape variety in both these regions and is known for producing light but highly aromatic white wines.

Alvarinho grapes are known for their aromatic qualities. The wines produced from Alvarinho grapes typically exhibit pronounced aromas of citrus fruits (such as lemon and lime), stone fruits (like peach and apricot), and floral notes (including honeysuckle and orange blossom). These wines are often described as fresh, crisp, and lively on the palate.

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Soalheiro Family


As far as memory goes, Alvarinho was always present in the Minho territory. In this region, grapevines were traditionally planted around the outskirts of a parcel, with grains cultivated in the centre. In 1974, João António Cerdeira and his parents, António Esteves Ferreira and Maria Cerdeira, decided to break from tradition and plant a full parcel as a continuous vineyard of Alvarinho & name it “Soalheiro” (since it had sun exposure for most of the day). Since this first innovation of João António, the Cerdeira family has been the first Alvarinho brand in Melgaço.

Alvarinho grapes thrive in cool, maritime climates with proximity to the ocean. The coastal influence helps maintain the grape’s natural acidity and freshness. The regions where these grapes are grown often experience significant rainfall, which contributes to the character of the wines. Having said that Quinta de Soalheiro lies behind a mountain range. This mountain range in between the Quinta & the Atlantic ocean absorbs most of the rainfall giving Soalheiro u unique micro-climate of more sunshine hours when compared to the surrounding areas. This naturally leads to an earlier harvest leaving them with grapes with even higher acidity and longer aging potential.

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Melgaço Valley

The Future

Due to their bright acidity and aromatic qualities, Alvarinho wines are excellent choices to pair with seafood, particularly dishes like grilled shrimp, oysters, and shellfish. They also complement lighter poultry dishes, salads, other Asian cuisine & rumoured to be the best pairing for Sushi.

In the last decade Alvarinho has gained international recognition and popularity, and it is not limited to its native regions. Winemakers in other parts of the world, including the United States have planted this grape variety to take advantage of its desirable characteristics.

Today, third-generation family members, siblings Maria João and António Luís, along with their mother Maria Palmira Cerdeira, have embraced this spirit of innovation. António Luís, with a graduate degree in oenology, has built a profound knowledge of the Alvarinho grape variety throughout his life. Maria João, a veterinarian by profession, assumed the responsibility for viticulture and successfully converted all the family vineyards to organic farming.

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40 Year Anniversary Package


The elasticity of Alvarinho and the diversity of the Melgaço territory inspired the family to start exploring other options. The 1995 vintage was marked by the release of the first-ever sparkling wine made with Alvarinho. In its time this release was a novelty, but nowadays such production style has spread to the rest of the Vinho Verde DOC and Rias Baixas. Innovation that turns into tradition is, without a doubt, one of the family’s most important values.

In 2015 Soalheiro also released a new Alvarinho coming from high altitude vineyards.  Located at heights above 400 meters, these vines produce wines with even more mineral qualities than their now iconic ‘classic’ wines from the valley.

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