Trincadeira – spicy and difficult to harvest

Grape Varieties

Trincadeira – spicy and difficult to harvest


Several varieties of blue and green grapes have been given the name Trincadeira, leading to confusion.

Illustrations about the Trincadeira grape. First three pictures depict blackberry, prune and clove aromas. Then bar charts showing structure between 0 and 9 - acidity 5 out of 9, tannins 5 out of 9, alcohol 7 out of 9 and aroma intensity 7 out of 9. And finally a map showing the main growing areas - Alentejo, Douro and Trás-os-Montes.
Blackberry, prune and clove are the aromas illustrated. The bar chart shows structure between 0 and 9 – acidity 5 out of 9, tannins 5 out of 9, alcohol 7 out of 9 and aroma intensity 7 out of 9. And finally, a map showing the main growing areas – Alentejo, Douro and Trás-os-Montes.
  • Types of wine: red and rosé.
  • Wine structure: medium acidity, medium tannins and high alcohol.
  • Wine aromas: intense of raspberry, blackberry, prune, pepper, cinnamon, clove and herbs.
  • Synonyms: Castiço, Crato Preto, Crato Tinto, Espadeiro, Mortágua, Mortágua Preto, Murteira, Preto Martinho, Rabo de Ovelha Tinto, Rosete Espalhado, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Amarelha, Tinta Amarella, Tinta Manuola and Trincadeira Preta.

Origin in the Lisboa

Trincadeira originated in the Lisboa region through a natural cross between two unknown parents. The origin can be traced back to Lisboa because the grape’s genetic diversity is greatest in Lisboa, where its close relatives Ramisco and Sercial also originate.

Grown inland

Portugal’s interior (Alentejo, Douro and Trás-os-Montes) are the main areas where Trincadeira is grown. However, there are also relatively large plantations in the Tejo region. The total area under cultivation in Portugal is large, but the trend is downward.

Timely harvesting is critical

The dense clusters and fragile grape skins lead to susceptibility to powdery mildew and grey mould; the latter comes with the rains of August and September. If this stresses the grower and he picks the grapes too early, the wines become very herbal. If, on the other hand, the grower picks overly late, the wines lose acidity and become jammy and heavy. Therefore, the perfect harvest time is critical, but it can be challenging to find if it rains a lot. Grapes thrive best in hot, dry climates with plenty of sunshine, but at the same time, they are sensitive to drought. In addition, vines are susceptible to mites and vine hoppers.

Recommended Trincadeira wines

From the Alentejo region:

From the Douro region: