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Minho covers the same area as the Vinho Verde region in North West Portugal. Taking its name from the River Minho that runs through the region, this area spans from the very northernmost point of Portugal down as far as the Douro river. Traditionally, vines were trained on Pergolas to allow room for alternative crops on the ground below, which made ripening difficult. These days, alternative training methods are used, which mean riper grapes and thus wines with more character. This region is best known for its white wines - the simple bottles known simply as 'Vinho Verde' are the perfect summer refreshment, their low alcohol, brisk acidity and bright petillance. Some altogether finer white wines are being produced from the Alvarinho grape variety - identical to the Albariño famous in Spain.