It was in the Northwest of Portugal, the most populated region since Asturian-Leonese times, that the dense population spread through the fields of the region.
There are many references to vine growing, whose development started by the initiative of religious orders, as well as by the positive contribution of the Portuguese Crown.
Viticulture had not much importance until the XII-XIII centuries, when wine consumption started to be part of the habits of the Entre-Douro-e-Minho population. The demographic and economic expansion itself, the enhancement of agricultural trade and the development of metal currency, turned wine into an important and essential source of revenue.
Although its export was rather limited, history reveals, however, that it should have been the Vinho Verde wines the first Portuguese wines to be known in the European markets (England, Flandres and Germany), specially those of Monção and Ribeira de Lima sub-regions.
In the XIX century, the institutional reforms, opening the way to a larger commercial freedom, as well as the transport and communication's revolution, were the cause for the definitive changes in the regional viticultural panorama.
The quality guidance and the Vinho Verde wine production and trade regulations appeared in the beginning of the XX century, when the Law of September 18, 1908 and the Decree of October, 1st of the same year, demarcated the "Vinho Verde Region" for the first time.
Cultural issues, wine types, the grape varieties and vine's guiding systems forced the division of the Demarcated Region in six sub-regions: Monção, Lima, Basto, Braga, Amarante and Penafiel.
However, the content of the Law of 1908 was only regulated in 1926 through the Decree Nr. 12.866, establishing a "Vinho Verde" production and trade regulation, defining its geographical limits, characterising its wines and creating the "Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes", set up for implementing it. Later, in 1929, this regulation was rearranged through the Decree Nr. 16.684.
Of great importance in all the world was the acceptance of the "Vinho Verde" Denomination of Origin revindication report presented to the OIV - Office International de la Vigne et du Vin - in Paris (1949), and the subsequent recognition of the international certificate of this Denomination of Origin by the OMPI - Organização Mundial da Propriedade Intelectual (General Intelectual Property Organisation), in Geneva (1973).
The recognition of the Denomination of Origin bestowed, from the international law point of view, the exclusive use of the denomination "Vinho Verde" to a wine with unique characteristics, mainly due the geographic environment and its natural and human elements.
In 1959, the Decree Nr. 42.590 of October, 16 established the seal of quality as a protection measure of the Vinho Verde origin and quality and the Decree Nr. 43.067 of July, 12, 1960 published its regulation.
Another extraordinary landmark was the recognition of the statutes regarding the Vinho Verde Demarcated Region's Fortifying Spirits and Brandies (Decree 39/84 of the 2nd February), an important contribution for the diversification of the quality vinic products produced in this region.
As a consequence of Portugal's Agreement in the European Community, the Demarcated Region's Law, defining the reformulation of the organic structure of the Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes was published in 1985.
Finally, in 1992, the new statutes were approved...