Baga – often picked immature

Grape Varieties

Baga – often picked immature

Baga means berry in Portuguese and is a very appropriate name for these relatively small grapes.

grape variety baga 2
Cherry, tobacco and herb are the aromas illustrated. The bar chart shows structure between 0 and 9 – acidity 5 out of 9, tannins 9 out of 9, alcohol 5 out of 9 and aroma intensity 7 out of 9. And finally, a map showing the main growing area – Bairrada.
  • Types of wine: red and sparkling.
  • Wine structure: medium acidity, very high tannins and medium alcohol.
  • Wine aromas: intense of cherry, black currant, blackberry, mulberry, dark plum, coffee, tobacco, smoke, honey, pepper, camphor, hay and herbs.
  • Synonyms: Baga de Louro, Carrasquenho, Carrego Burros, Paga Dívida, Poeirinha, Poeirinho, Tinta Bairrada, Tinta da Bairrada and Tinta de Baga.

Origin in the Dão

Baga originated in the Dão region through a natural cross between Malvasia Fina from the Dão region and an unknown parent. The area of origin is Dão, which is proven by the fact that the genetic diversity of the grape is at its highest there.

Grown in the Bairrada

The Bairrada region is the main growing area for Baga. However, relatively large plantations are also found in the Dão region. The total area under cultivation in Portugal is large, but the trend is downward.

Often thin, tight and vegetal wines

Baga has dense clusters of late-ripening grapes. Combined with the humid climate of the Bairrada region, it leads to grapes being easily attacked by grey mould. Unfortunately, to avoid these problems, it is common for growers to pick the grapes too early. Suppose a producer makes wine from unripe grapes. In that case, it will be thin, acidic and extremely astringent with a strong vegetal character. In addition, the wine then matures quickly once bottled. This wine character is further accentuated if the producer uses traditional winemaking methods, including stalks in the fermenting must. These problems mean that both the vintage and the winemaker significantly influence quality.

The grapes ripen best if they are allowed to grow in a warm, sun-drenched place with a long growing season. This allows the aromas to develop and the tannins to ripen.

Recommended Baga wines

From the Bairrada region:

From the Dão regionen:

  • Quinta da Pellada Baga (Quinta da Pellada).