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The wines are light-tasting, and are often sparkling wines to some degree. They are best consumed young, within a year of the vontage.
The "Vinho Verde Region" was demarcated by the law of September 18, 1908 and a decree of October 1st of the same year. It is in the northwest of Portugal, from just south of Porto towards the north. The recognition of Vinho Verde as a Denominação de Origen established the geographical limits, quality requirements and the characteristics of the wine, as well as trade regulations, which are overseen by the "Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes" ("Wine Commission of the Vinho Verde Region").
The region has a long history of viticulture. In the 12th century, wine started to become an important economic factor in the region. Vinho Verde, especially those from Monção and Ribeira de Lima, was the first Portuguese wine to be sold in the European markets (England, Flandres, and Germany).
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