The Pico Azores Vineyards
The Pico Azores Vineyards are quite a sight to see. I highly recommend a visit to the Criacao Velha area near Madalena to see a large and unique vineyard. Not to mention the fantastic views of Faial to the west and Pico Mountain to the east.
I visited the area late in November when the vines were dormant for the winter, but it was still incredible to see how they are planted. The vines are planted in between walls made of lava rock. These walls are about waist high. The walls serve a couple of purposes. First, they protect the grapes and vines from the salt water spray of the nearby ocean. Second, they capture the heat of the sun and warm up the grapes. I am told that the moderate Azores temperature and the soil makes for excellent wine making conditions when combined with the rock walls.
The most stunning part of this for me was the vast area of the vineyards and imagining how much work it must have been to build all the rock walls.
The two pictures that follow are taken from basically the same spot. The first is in the summer and the second is in the winter:
Photo courtesy of Ulrich Thumult on Wikipedia
The wine from Pico is quite popular in the Azores and is worth a try when visiting Pico Azores or any of the Azores Islands
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