The magical Azores islands, are a nature filled paradise with agricultural being the primary economic sector of the region for centuries. The production of top quality, natural products has been increasingly receiving more international attention due to the fact that the mineral rich volcanic soil and fair gulf stream breezes which makes this an ideal location to grow grapes for wine production. These 9 islands all produce wines, with the regions of Pico, Graciosa and Terceira being the most internationally acclaimed. The production of wine has been an art that has been passed down in some family vineyards for over a century. The main 3 islands of wine production are the reason why Azorean wines are finding their way onto the lists of top Portuguese wines year after year.
The wines have always been a hidden gem for the true wine connoisseurs who enjoy wines from the old world and the unique flavor and taste they represent. It was known in the Azores during the times of production when many vineyards would have to make special cases of the wines for their royal customers who demanded only the finest wines with the best years of production. In the late 19th century the wines were being shipped all over to wealthy merchants and was consumed regularly by all the locals of the Azores islands as well. The Czar Nicholas II; one of the secret customers who had come to be revealed during the Russian revolution when the Bolsheviks took over control of Russia from the 300 year ruling Romanov dynasty, and came into communist rule under Lenin. The palaces of the Romanov family were searched after the abduction of the throne and found countless cases of the prized Azorean Wines from the region of Pico in his royal wine cellar at Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. The cellar was raided and much of it was sold or consumed during the russian revolution due to the fact that it was one of the rarest, most extensive collections of wines in the world at the time.
Since then the wines from the Azores most notably from Pico have come along way with quality always on the mind of these family wine growers. The Pico island wines have received numerous international awards and are not in the same category as the wines that come from Madeira which are carried in restaurants and stores all over the world. The local wines are served at all restaurants and hotel bars in the Azores and are worth trying while visiting. Portugal has always been a region for high quality wine production and while in the Azores you should indulge your palettes an visit some of the local winieries and see the ancient method of production while enjoying samples of the vineyards newest vintages.