Fernão Pires

Fernão Pires is a white Portuguese grape variety that can produce soft wines with exotic stone fruit character and spicy aromatic notes. It is growing primarily around the Tejo region, just to the north west of Lisbon. In Bairrada it is known as Maria Gomes. Many of the wines are delicate and light on acidity and so more often not are best consumed within a few years from the vintage. It is a versatile grape, but characterised by floral, aromatic character which seems to work well when blended with other varieties. Despite its low acidity it can be used to produce sparkling wines. Often these are inexpensive and supported by residual sugar, usually in a Demi Sec or Off dry style. There are also some examples of Fernão Pires planted in South Africa and Australia.