DOC area in the west of the Portuguese region of Beiras near the Atlantic coast. It is an ancient wine-growing area, in the 14th and 15th centuries a third of the area was used for viticulture. At the beginning of the 18th century, the dark and tannin-rich red wines were very popular in England, and were also issued as port wine (from the Douro area to the north of it) or blended with it. In 1756, when the boundaries for port wine were established, the then Portuguese minister-president Marquês de Pombal (1699-1782) ordered that the vineyards of Bairrada be cleared to protect port wine. In 1908, the government eliminated the area from the list of wine-growing regions. It was not until 1979 that the area was reclassified as a Vinho Regional (Country Wine) and later as a DOC area. Luiz Costa, the owner of the Caves São João winery, rendered great service to the area, vehemently striving for high quality standards and co-founding the Bairrada Wine Brotherhood (Academy of Bairrada Wine).
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