Definition - What does Setubal mean?

Setúbal is a geographical area located on a peninsula in southeast Portugal along the Atlantic coastline. It is best known as a winemaking region that grows Moscatel grapes and creates fortified wines. Setúbal is a historic wine producer that still exports sweet wines which have a distinct winemaking and fermentation process.

WineFrog explains Setubal

The winemaking tradition and vineyards were established in this part of Portugal as early as the 8th century B.C.E. They were further recognized during the middle ages when their wines were an influential export for religious groups. From 1905-1997 the demarcation and wine market was unchanged and labeling guidelines were revised in 1999 to denote that the wine must have 85% of the label stated variety.

Vineyards from this region mostly grow Moscatel grapes and are located on the Serra Arrabida hills and the plains of Palmela. As mentioned above, Setubal wines have a signature fermentation process which includes the French mutage process and long-term aging. Winemakers add the remaining skin of the Moscatel grapes to their fermentation process which gives the wine a fruity, sweet aroma and flavor. The wine can spend up to 4-5 years aging in oak barrels to promote the orange/brown coloring and complex flavor. Some higher quality wines can spend 16-20 years in the barrel until they are perfect for consumption.

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