Historical Review
Historical Review

1st Century AC: The oldest known historical references about the existence of wine in what is now the demarcated region of Vinho Verde come from two Romans, Seneca the philosopher and Pliny the naturalist, and from legislation of Roman Emperor Domitian (51-96 AC).  

870: Donation of wine to Pendurada Convent, Marco de Canaveses.

915: Donation from Ordonho II, King of Leon, to the Church of St. James in Correlhã, Ponte de Lima.

949-973: Several donations to Mumadona Dias, Countess of Portugal, one of which was from a vineyard with a hanging trellis system.

1172: Charter of Afonso I to the men of Bouças: "The monarch hereby declares that they who plant vineyards are exempt from any jurisdiction in the first five years after planting, which at this time is fixed as one sixth of the wine harvest"(in Coelho da Rocha, Essay on English Law, 1843).

1261: Charter of Afonso III gives the people of Monção possession of some vineyards.

1372: This grievance in the courts of Porto: "The plaintiffs experienced a great loss with the cutting of their trees by the inhabitants of Porto and Gaia because the wine made from the vines in the trees that were chopped, going with the carpenters of Riba Douro to cut down trees without sparing trees that have vines growing in them even though these vines produce a lot of wine." (Antonio Cruz, Notes on the Wine Culture of Vale do Ave).

1606: Since at least this date, the Municipal Chamber of Porto, through a decree, fixed prices for the sale of wines "old and young" which this year was 3 to 4 reis per pint respectively, for white and red wine. 

From this year until 1899, there are few whose price is equal to or more than Vinho Verde.

1715: King João V: "In the Vinho Verde wines produced in the province of Minho, which are of a lesser reputation, I have paid only three reis per canada for these wines that are called 'hanged', and grow on trees without cultivation, but not of those that are cultivated carelessly under the guise of verde, their owners exempt the usual five reis per canada, because all the wine is cultivated must pay the five reis."(In Collection of Tax Legislation containing the Rules, Laws, Decrees, Ordinances, etc.. concerning the tax called the Royal Tax, Dr. Anthony T. Magalhães, 1880).

1784: Founded in 1784 in Viana do Varietylo, the Civil Society of Agriculture and Trade of the Minho Province which, along with Queen Mary I, spoke out against the monopoly held by the Royal Company of Upper Douro Vineyards, and tried to create a society of intervention and regulation of the market for wines of this region. "This would have been a bold move, more serious, with which in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, good men and merchants of the town of Viana sought to value regional wines, thus giving homage to past generations who have attempted to found a regional body, in a way, its precursor."(Amândio Galhano).

1787: Charter of Queen Mary I.

1788: John Croft in A Treatise on the Wines of Portugal (York, Second Edition), refers to the first exports of Portuguese wines to England, probably originating in the wine area of ​​Monção and shipped from the port of Viana do Varietylo.

1908: From dictated legislative actions, first by Article 10 of the Charter Act of September 18, 1908 and then by Article 19 of the Decree of 1 October of the same year, comes the establishment of the demarcation of different kinds of wines by region, with precisely defined limits. Thus arises the demarcated region of Vinho Verde, perfectly distinct from other regions and producers of other types of wine, save for a paragraph endorsing, "The demarcation of the Vinho Verde region may be changed due to complaint of any municipal or agricultural union, published in the government log, with insertion of the opinion of the Superior Council of Agriculture."
For reasons of cultivation, types of wine, grape varieties and vineyard layout mode, the region was divided into five subregions: Monção, Lima, Amarante, Basto and Braga.

1922: The Federation of Agricultural Unions in Northern Portugal (FSANP) presents to the Superior Council of Agriculture a draft of "Regulation of the Production and Trade of Vinho Verde". FSANP was at the time the organized form of farming - today the Agricultural Unions correspond with the cooperatives.

1924: The Agricultural Congress of Braga is held, where the farmers are presented with a thesis by the president of the Federation of Agricultural Unions, Conde de Azevedo, entitled "Regulation of the Production and Trade of Vinho Verde".

1926: Decree n. º 12.866 (December 10, 1926, Government Gazette, Series 1) is published and implemented, which confirms the borders of the demarcated region, although with slight modifications to the areas that were established in 1908, as well as creating another subregion: Penafiel. The Regulation of the Production and Trade of Vinho Verde enshrines the status of the delimited region; defines its geographical boundaries; characterizes the wines; sets clear rules for production, certificates of origin and certifications of production, and the trade of Vinho Verde; and creates the Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region (CVRVV), an inter-professional body with farming and trading representatives.

1929: Decree No. 16.684, published in the Government Gazette, Series 1, 2 April, replaces Decree No. 12.866, in which it defines the delimited region and what is meant by Vinho Verde: "The only wines considered Vinho Verde will result from the fermentation of musts from fresh and mature regional grapes, because these are the only conditions capable of yielding a wine that shows the worldwide unique characteristics and that, moreover, the law defines with the regional demarcation."
Although strongly opposed, Decree No. 16.684 remains in force and is the basic law that regulates the production and trade of Vinho Verde.

1935: Law No. 1891 is published on March 23, which temporarily interrupts the electoral process of choosing the Executive Committee.
Ordinance No. 8303/35 is published on December 3, which defines the analytical characteristics of the Vinho Verde wines for exportation.
Final installation of the CVRVV headquarters at Rua da Restauração, in Porto. The building is of architectural interest, dating from the mid-nineteenth century and located within the borders of Porto's classified historic zone. Its construction was ordered in 1871 by Count Silva Monteiro, the illustrious Brazilian, who upon his return found a house already under construction and here fixed his permanent residence after leaving the lands of Vera Cruz. It was considered by Pinho Leal "a princely residence" and was one of the main meeting places of Porto high society during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

1937: Ordinance No. º 8596 is published on January 15, which defines the analytical characteristics of Vinho Verde for domestic consumption. In the late '50s, about 90% of production was still consumed within the region, with the rest being exported.  

1946: Decree-Law No. 35.846 is published on September 2, regarding Portuguese wines in general. Certain parts in particular refer to Vinho Verde.

1949: In favor of the region, and a major landmark worldwide, was the acceptance of the claim report for the Denomination of Origin of Vinho Verde, presented to the OIV (International Office of Wine and Vine) in Paris.

1950 - 1960: Under the inspiration and patronage of the Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region, a program for the establishment of 21 cooperative wineries in the region develops.

1953: An ordinance is created in which grape varieties, by county, are divided into two groups: mandatory and suggested.

1956: Creation of the Advertising and Promotion Plan of 21 cooperative wineries in the region, by the Minister of Economy, on September 10.

1958: Inauguration of cooperative wineries Braga and Lousada, after 18 years of planning. The results exceeded expectations.

1959: Through Decree. º 42.590, of October 16, the Seal of Origin was created, a new form of documentation used as a prize or award for perfect products, in short, as a safeguard for the origin and quality of Vinho Verde. Its respective regulations were published by Decree n. º 43.067 on July 12, 1960.

1960 - 1970: Construction, by the Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region, of facilities for distillation and storage of wines and spirits in case of surplus. Capable of storing 33,880 HL of wine and 17,830 HL of brandy, and the ability to distill 1800-2250 HL per day.

1973: Recognition of the international registration of the Denomination of Origin Vinho Verde in Geneva, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). This was the culmination of the efforts spent and desired by many generations of winemakers in the region for the defense of the genuineness and typicity of Vinho Verde. This Denomination of Origin exercise has, under international law, the exclusive use of the name Vinho Verde wines with unique characteristics, due essentially to the geographical environment, taking into account natural and human factors that are behind it.

1983: Decree-Law No. 400/83 of October 13, published in the Republic Gazette, Series I, on November 9, establishing the Tasting Panel of the Commission of Viticulture of Vinho Verde Region. This body verifies the originality of Vinho Verde, providing organoleptic proof for the characterization and defense of the product, since its conclusions are authentic in court.

1984: Another asset of extraordinary importance was the recognition of the status of products with designation of origin for wine and brandies produced in the demarcated region of Bagaceira, thus contributing to the diversification of quality wine products, through Decree law n º 39/84 of January 5 and published in the Official Gazette on February 2.

1985: As a result of the entry of Portugal into the EEC (European Economic Community), the legal framework for demarcated wine regions is created by Law no. 8/85 of June 4, which would determine the reformulation of the statutes of the demarcated regions and the organic structure of the winemaking committees. One of the measures imposed was that producers with vineyards larger than 100 feet were required to declare their vineyards, in order to issue them a grower card (DL n. º 504-I/85 of December 30, supplemented by Ordinance No. 125/86 of April 2). This transition is implemented in stages by community legislation in the Portuguese wine sector (DL No 517/85 of December 31, Agreement of Adherence). Rates of production and trade of Vinho Verde are updated (DL n º 303/85, 29/7). Another ordinance is published in April, approving the list of new varieties for the region, dividing the grape varieties into "recommended" and "authorized" and fixing the minimum percentages for the first and maximum for the latter.

1986: EVAG (Amândio Galhano Viticulture Station) is founded in in Arcos de Valdevez, with the aim of developing the viticulture of the region. The Viticulture Station is an experimental unit that, through its work, addresses the problems of growers. Among the ongoing projects in the area of viticulture are clonal selection of recommended varieties in the demarcated region of Vinho Verde; the study of new vine trellising systems; the study of rootstocks; studies of nutrition and fertilization of vineyards; installation of vines on slopes; and study of phenology and cultural adaptation of regional varieties.

1987: Under Decree-Law No 104/87 of March 6, the legal status of the Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region (CVRVV) and its organizational structure is transformed to become a Regional Association, Corporate Body of Private Law and Public Utility.

It gains a General Council with equal representation of trade and production. Its Executive Committee is elected by the General Council, with the exception of the chairman, who is appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The statutes of CVRVV are published.

1988: The Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region is registered as a 'nursery' at the National Institute of Agricultural Research.
The laboratory CVRVV is officially recognized by Ordinance No. 534/88 of August 9.
Decree-Law 350/88, of September 30, states that CVRVV remains the regulating force for legislation of the demarcated Vinho Verde region.

1989: Considering its relevant public services and utilities, the CVR is exempt from IRC payments, except for deposit interest and other investment income (DL 416/89, 30/11).

1992: The Statutes of the Demarcated Region of Vinho Verde (RDVV) are adopted by Decree-Law n. º 10/92 of February 3. These statutes define the geographical delimitation of the region, the nature of the soil, grape varieties (recommended and authorized varieties and their percentages), cultural practices including vineyard systems and winemaking practices and methods, minimum natural alcohol content, yields per hectare, oenological practices, and the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of the region's products. The statutes confirm the recognition of the six wine-producing subregions entitled to the "Vinho Verde" designation of protected designation of origin, which had been previously consecrated.

The new Statutes of the Demarcated Region of Vinho Verde include the annexed list of "recommended" and "authorized" varieties for the region. Batoca appears among the "recommended" white varieties, and Padeiro-de Basto, also known as Tinto-Cão, enters the group of "recommended" red grapes.

It is noted that the Decree-Law n. No. 10/92 states, in Article 60, that only white and red grapes referred to in Annex 11 of the statute (varieties "recommended" and "authorized") can use the appellation of origin Vinho Verde, and subregion names and place names can only be earned by white and red wines from "recommended" and "authorized" grapes defined in the Annex, provided that the blend complies with a minimum percentage of 75% of the total grape varieties in the case of "recommended" varieties, and a maximum percentage of 25% in the case of "authorized" varieties.

Also in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the CVRVV drafted the Vinho Verde Internal Label Regulation, approved by the General Council on June 25 and taking effect on July 1 of the same year, with the aim to clarify and supplement existing Vinho Verde labeling standards.

1993: Through Ordinance No. 112/93 of January 30, the production conditions, cultural practices, production methods and characteristics of regional wine "Rios do Minho" were defined in order to ensure the continual improvement in the quality and strengthening of the prestige of these regional wines.  
The General Council of CVRVV adopted the first revision of the Competition Rules for the Top Wines, thereby adjusting it to the current version, which went fully into effect by 1997. All bottled wines are allowed to compete, provided they conform to the conditions laid down in the rules.

1997: Through Ordinance No. 1202/97 of November 18, some amendments to Ordinance no. 112/93 are introduced, namely the name of the geographical indication, which was Regional Wine "Rios do Minho", and was discarded for Regional Wine 'Minho'.
On November 20, Notice n. º 9391/97 is published in the Official Gazette (Series II) according to which, by order of the President of the Institute of Vine and Wine (OIV) and approved by the Secretary of State of Agri-Food Production, the CVRVV is recognized as the entity responsible for inspection and certification of the Regional Wine 'Minho'.

1998: The IPQ (Portuguese Institute of Quality) and the CVRVV Accredited Laboratory verify the legal compliance of the analytical characteristics of the wines of the region.

1999: The government decides, under a proposal from the Institute of Vine and Wine and with full agreement of the Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region, to reshape the Statute of Demarcated Region of Vinho Verde which regulates and protects the designations Vinho Verde, Sparkling Vinho Verde, Vinho Verde Region Brandy Wine, Vinho Verde Region Bagaceira (marc spirit) and Vinho Verde Vinegar, with some updates to the diploma. This update is introduced by Decree-Law n. 263/99 of July 14, and it is subject to slight adjustments in wording that come to be established by Decree-Law n. 449/99 of November 4.

2001: Ordinance No. º 28/2001 of January 16 is published, recognizing the subregions of the geographical area of production of wines entitled to the appellation of origin "Vinho Verde", under Article 3 of the RDVV Statute, annexed to the Decree-Law n. 263/99 of July 14, updated by Decree-Law n. 449/99 of November 4. So, the nine new Subregions of RDVV emerge: Amarante, Ave, Baião, Basto, Cávado, Lima, Monção, Paiva and Sousa.
Through this ordinance, the wine that wishes to carry the respective subregion, in addition to the designation of origin "Vinho Verde," must be made exclusively from varieties recognized in the subregion and vinified in this area. The designation of subregions can be used, with appropriate changes, for the other products covered by ERDVV, i.e. Sparkling Vinho Verde, Vinho Verde Region Brandy Wine, Vinho Verde Region Bagaceira (marc spirit) and Vinho Verde Vinegar, provided they comply with the provisions of the ordinance in question.

2004: Decree-Law n. 212/2004 of August 23 is published, establishing the Institutional Organization of the Wine Sector.  
Decree-Law n. º 213/2004 of August 23 establishes the list of offenses relating to legal breaches of the rules, applicable to vines, production, trade, processing and transit of wines, and other wine products and the activities in this sector.

2005: On September 9, the new Internal Labeling Rules are approved by the General Council for products under the CVRVV control (Vinho Verde, Minho Regional Wine, Sparkling Vinho Verde, Vinho Verde Region Brandy Wine, Vinho Verde Region Bagaceira (marc spirit) and Vinho Verde Vinegar).

2006: On May 25 Decree-Law 93/2006 is published, amending the Statute of the Demarcated Region of Vinho Verde, and it is approved by Decree-Law nº 10/92 of February 3.
Commemoration of 80 years of CVRVV - Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region - and 20 years of EVAG (Amândio Galhano Wine Station).

2007: An announcement (extract) is published in the Official Gazette, Series II, n. º 96 of May 18, which certifies that the statutes of Viticulture Commission of the Vinho Verde Region, are altered by deed on May 4 so that they begin to respect the rule of Decree-Law n. º 212/2004 of August 23, which establishes the institutional organization of the wine sector.

2008: 100th anniversary of the demarcation of the Vinho Verde Region

2009: Ordinance No.291/2009 of March 23 is published, amending Ordinance no. º 28/2001 of January 16, recognizing subregions of the geographical area of production of wines entitled to the designation source "Vinho Verde", and determines that the subregion Monção is renamed Monção and Melgaço and includes the districts of Monção and Melgaço.
CVRVV is accredited under the standard NP EN 45 011 on March 30, 2009 (Accreditation Certificate No. C0010).