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Bucelas DOC

Categories: White Wine

The Bucelas region is located about 25 kilometers north of Lisbon, surrounded by mountains in the valley of the Trancão River. It benefits from a specific micro-climate: damp and cold in winter but temperate in summer, with hot and dry days and cooler nights. The oldest vineyards are found in the traditional ‘caeiras’, basins and rolling hills in the lower valleys. Here the soil is calcareous loam and crystalline limestone, where one finds fossils from the nearby Atlantic ocean.

The white grape Arinto has grown in the region for centuries. Referenced by Shakespeare in Henry VI as ‘Charneco’, the wine was renowned in the English court, where it was also known as ‘Lisbon Hock’ and later as ‘Bucellas’. The region was fiercely contested during the Napoleonic invasions (1810s), and fortifications, the Lines of the Torres Vedras, still dot the landscape with stations and lookouts today. In the late 19th century, production and exports blossomed when João Camillo Alves brought renewed attention to Bucelas wines and its scenic vineyards.

The demarcated region of Bucelas was created in 1911, encompassing specific localities: Bucelas, Charneca, Vila de Rei, Bemposta, Santo Aleixo, Vila Nova, Chamboeira and Freixial. Rules then and now require the wine to be principally of Arinto grapes, although a small portion of Esgana-Cão (Sercial) and Rabo de Ovelha is permitted. Recognized as the ‘Capital of Arinto’, Bucelas is the only demarcated region in Portugal that is strictly white wine.

As red wine came to dominate the domestic market in Portugal, production of Bucelas wine declined. Today eight grower/producers remain. In recognition of its heritage, the region is included on the Wine Route of Bucelas, Carcavelos and Colares – the three historic wines from Lisbon.

    Chão do Prado Bucelas 2020 bottle

    Chão do Prado Bucelas 2020

    PortugalLisboa VRBucelas DOC 12.5% ABV

    12.5% ABV

    A signature wine of Bucelas with great dimension, with notes of tart calamansi orange, grilled apricot and roasted nuts. Its lively character complements all manner of fish and seafood, fried chicken or dry-rubbed pork. In its home region, it is famously served with roasted garlic rabbit. Full details

    Chão do Prado Bucelas 2020 label
    Murgas Bucelas 2018 bottle

    Murgas Bucelas 2018

    PortugalLisboa VRBucelas DOC 12.5% ABV

    12.5% ABV

    Murgas DOC Bucelas White is a wine of vitality and sapidity. Its notes of grilled white peach and beeswax are complemented by the vibrant minerality typical of Bucelas. Its lively character makes it a refreshing companion to a wide variety of fish and seafood, chicken and pork. Age-worthy, it can be enjoyed now through 2030. Full details

    Murgas Bucelas 2018 label
    Quinta do Avelar Bucelas 2015 bottle

    Quinta do Avelar Bucelas 2015

    PortugalLisboa VRBucelas DOC 12.5% ABV

    12.5% ABV

    This wine is firm, bright and resolutely mineral, with notes of apple skin, grilled apricot and roasted nuts. Its power and mature elegance are marked by a distinct maritime influence. Enjoy through 2035 with fish and shellfish, grilled pork, chicken, charcuterie and cheeses. Full details

    Quinta do Avelar Bucelas 2015 label