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Bairrada

Bairrada - located in North West Portugal - was famous for wines used to quench the thirst of the British market in the 1700s. These wines were known as 'Bootstrap' and often masqueraded as the more acclaimed Douro wines. Following a decree that all Bairrada vineyards must be uprooted in 1756, the industry fell into a decline that it is only just coming back from. Today, production is dominated by co-operatives. However, since the 1980s a handful of dynamic new producers have been pushing the quality of wine coming out of Bairrada to new heights. Excellent wines are being produced from the Baga grape - new winemaking techniques calming its potentially ferocious acidity and tannin. In addition to this, since 2003, more popular and approachable grape varieties have been permitted under DOP laws. Bordeaux varieties in particular have flourished, being suited to the region's maritime climate. Bairrada is certainly an area of Portugal to watch!