Exclusive Wines of Pico Island

Pico Island is the second largest of the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its dark green landscape starkly contrasts with the surrounding deep blue ocean. It is home to Portugal’s highest mountain and is a nature-lover’s paradise, however, the local wine culture is one of its main attractions.

Winemaking has been a common practice on the island for hundreds of years. In the 17th century, the wine was shipped to the West Indies, New England, and Newfoundland, even reaching the Russian Tsars,  the great European noble houses and the popes- the dry and sweet Pico wines were found where luxury existed. The most common styles made are from white grape varieties which tend to have a volcanic, mineral and salty flavor. This one-of-a-kind flavor profile cannot be found in other wines.

Grape production is concentrated in the municipality of Madalena on the western side of Pico Island. The vineyards are planted right by the sea to guarantee a greater amount of sunshine and maturation. Pico’s grapes are well-suited to produce wines intended for long-term cellaring. Harvesting is done by hand, making it no easy task, but the high-quality wines produced are gaining international recognition. 

To learn more about these wines, visit the local wine museum housed in the Carmelitas convent (Casa Conventual das Carmelitas). Its garden has one of the largest and most beautiful collections of dragon trees, some over 1,000 years old. Go up to the viewpoint to admire the ‘currais’, which is the name given to the imperfect squares of the vineyards, made by stone and built by hand to protect the grapes from the elements.

In 2004, the wine landscape on Pico Island was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The vineyards at Criação Velha are prime examples of this local winemaking style. Visit the wine cooperative at Picowines or the Lucas Lopes Amaral Winery for an educational tasting. The prized Czar Winery will also provide you with an unforgettable tasting and learning experience. 

Reach out to the Valesa team and we will happily curate an unforgettable wine tasting experience for your client.