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Verdelho

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Grape Variety

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Verdelho is the name given to a small collection of grape varieties (of which Godello is a major member) grown in Portugal, Spain, Australia and, more recently, the Americas. It is thought to be of Portuguese origin and has a long history on the island of Madeira, where it was the most planted variety in the 19th century.

The aromatic profile of Verdelho is crisp, sometimes with leafy or spicy accents. It typically makes rich wine in the Old World, with ripe apricot and stone fruit aromas, while in Australia it is more reminiscent of citrus and tropical fruits.

In Madeira, Verdelho was known as a style of wine, an oxidised white wine consisting of Bual and Sercial grapes, but in 1993 it was decided that the word would be used to describe a particular grape variety. In Spain, this variety is principally grown in Galicia (where it is known as Verdello) and may be blended with Albariño or Treixadura.

The Australians have been making Verdelho-style wines since the 1820s where it has a reputation as a simple, fruit forward wine. The wines show good acidity and freshness and express a number of regional differences.

Western Australia is known for producing Verdelho wines with honeysuckle and lime cordial flavours while South Australian examples tend to be more tropical. New South Wales versions have a spicy character, often showing pear and white pepper notes similar to, but less intense than, Grüner Veltliner.

It is usually produced as a varietal wine but it is also common to blend Verdelho with Chardonnay or Sémillon. The wines are typically not designed for ageing and best consumed young. There is also reportedly a dark skinned version of the grape called Verdelho Tinto.
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