Vineyards of Pico

Vineyard in The Azores
Image by Rafal Gadomski / Shutterstock
Image by Rafal Gadomski / Shutterstock

The island of Pico has produced wine since the 15th century, but don’t expect neat rows of vines amid picturesque fields. The vintners here adapted to a landscape of volcanic soil littered with lumps of black basalt.

They used the basalt to create dry stone-walled plots called ‘currais’, which expose the vines to the sun but protect them from the wind. A vast grid of currais covers more than 2,000 acres of land on Pico’s western coast.

This area – known as Criação Velha – became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004 and you can learn more about its unique history of viniculture at the Pico Island Vineyard Culture Interpretation Centre in Lajido Santa Luzia.