The Azores, a stunning archipelago of nine islands nestled in the middle of the vast Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America, beckon travelers with their remote beauty. These islands, situated approximately 1000 miles from Portugal, are renowned for their breathtaking landscapes. With crystal-clear azure waters, lush green meadows, and dramatic mountain vistas, the Azores indeed resemble paradise.
Historical accounts attribute the planting of the first vineyards on the island to Friar Pedro Gigante in the 15th century. Pico, a volcanic island steeped in tradition, boasts a remarkable legacy. From intrepid whalers to resourceful vintners who made wine from stone, Pico’s history is as diverse as its terrain. Despite soil conditions that would deter most vineyards, this region has persevered through the ages. Volcanic basalt stone know as “biscoitos” were painstakingly removed and made into “currais” or stone walls to make way for vineyard planting. The very stone enclosures that cradle the vineyards are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These meticulously crafted walls serve not only to cultivate the vines but when warmed by the sun, aid in ripening the grapes. They also shield them from fierce winds, salt spray, and other adverse weather conditions, creating an environment where these vines thrive in the mild and humid Atlantic climate. Surrounded by the Atlantic and stone, the grape varieties Verdelho, Arinto dos Azores, and Terrantez thrive here and impart a uniqueness to their wines that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Amidst this idyllic backdrop, Pico Wines stands as a testament to both tradition and innovation. Established in 1949, Pico Wines is the largest and oldest wine producer in the Azores. While honoring their ancestral winemaking methods and respecting the rich tapestry of history, they also embrace contemporary knowledge and techniques. Picowines is a cooperative effort, nestled on the volcanic island, this artisanal winery is a marvel, using grapes sourced from a network of over 250 dedicated associates/local growers who provide their finest grapes year after year.
Salinity, freshness, and acidity are among the defining characteristics of Pico wines, influenced by the continuous interplay with the black stone, the caress of sea breezes, and the embrace of the Atlantic climate.
The Azores have been rightfully recognized as one of the world’s top sustainable destinations and the finest destination in the Atlantic. Pico, in particular, bears the distinction of producing a remarkable 82% of Azorean wine, a testament to its rich winemaking heritage and dedication to excellence. In every bottle of Picowines, you’ll discover a taste of the Azores’ captivating landscapes and centuries-old traditions, preserved and celebrated in each exquisite sip.
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