This is a versatile grape, grown in most of Portugal’s wine regions. In Vinho Verde country, it goes by the name of Pedernã.
It makes vibrant wines with lively, refreshing acidity, often with a mineral quality, along with gentle flavours reminiscent of apple, lime and lemon. Arinto-based wines can keep well but are also delicious young. Because it keeps its acidity even in hot climates, Arinto is often added to other lower-acid white grapes to improve blends – especially in the hot Alentejo and Ribatejo. It makes some of its greatest wines in the small DOC region of Bucelas, just north of Lisbon, where it must account for at least 75 per cent of blends (along with Sercial and Rabo de Ovelha). Its good acidity also makes it a great ingredient for sparkling wines. Arinto’s medium-sized bunches are tightly packed with small grapes.