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Pico Wines – Terras de Lava



Sometimes, something like this has to come along to remind us that the Azores don’t only have milk, butter, cheese, grazing cows and breath-taking scenery. On top of all that, the Azores also have marvellous, history-rich wine.
The Terras de Lava – Merlot 2017 is such an example.
History says that Frei Pedro Gigante planted the first grapevines on Pico Island during the bygone 15th century. It’s the soils and the labyrinths of dark corrals, made of basalt rocks that mark the island’s landscape that allow for grapevines to grow in such an inhospitable place as the middle of that Atlantic Ocean. They act as a safe-haven from the salt-heavy winds coming in from the sea. It’s important to note that all the work done in the vineyard is done by hand, without machines or mechanisation.
In the 17th century, Pico wines travelled to the West Indies, New England and Newfoundland and were served to Russian Czars, who have always enjoyed eating and drinking only the very best. Pico wine was so famous that it reached the great European royal houses and even to Popes in Rome. Where luxury was present, so too was the dry and amorous Pico to delight the rich and powerful.
Until one day, as in any good story, the Pico vineyards had to fight to survive and almost disappeared due to a Phylloxera crisis. Its noble varieties almost didn’t resist, and new ones had to be introduced to maintain production and broaden the supply.
This permitted Pico wine to survive to tell its story and history.
These are more than enough reasons to look at this wine with more seeing eyes and willingness to try it. If you’ve never tasted a Pico wine, you’re going to have a first and memorable experience.
We’ll be waiting to know what you think. Use the QR code to evaluate this Terras de Lava Merlot 2017.



Appellation: Azores
Style: Red
Winemaker: Bernardo Cabral
Varieties: Merlot
Winemaking process: Grape wort fermented in contact with grape skin to extract colour, tannins and flavour. Temperatures were controlled to maintain the fruity aroma.
Staging: 12 months in French oak barrels.
Tasting notes: Ruby in colour, red fruit aroma (blackcurrant and raspberry), some vegetable notes combined with discreet bell pepper, encased in a light smokey undertone. Elegant mouth with gentle and good acidity. Long finish.
Pairing: Speciated and structured, should be paired with red and white meats and mature cheeses.

Technical Information

ABV: 12,5%
Total acidity: 4,85 g/L
Sugars: 0,375g/L


Pumpkin and pistachio risotto by chef Pedro Almeida.

Ingredients (4 people):

300 gr risotto rice
800 gr pumpkin
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 sprig of thyme
1 dl white wine
100 gr chopped pistachios
80 gr grated parmesan or smoked cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Vegetable stock or water
Olive oil


Peel the pumpkin and dice in small pieces. Reserve.
Drizzle some olive oil in a deep pan/pot, add the onion and garlic and put over a gentle heat to fry off.
Add the chopped pumpkin and thyme and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Add the rice and allow to fry a little, season with salt and pepper.
Add the white wine and let cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
Add vegetable stock or water little by little and stir continuously until the rice has cooked.
Take off heat and add grated parmesan and the tablespoons of butter.
Decorate with a sprinkle of pistachio and serve immediately.

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