Verdelho is a white wine-grape variety native to the Portuguese island of Madeira. It is best known as one of the four so-called noble grapes of Madeira, where it contributes to the island’s signature fortified wines. It is grown to a significant extent in Australia, as well as numerous other winegrowing regions around the world.
In the vineyard, the Verdelho vine produces small bunches of small, thick-skinned berries. Verdelho is an early-ripening grape and is particularly susceptible to the threat of spring frosts and powdery mildew.
The Verdelho grape’s history in Portugal dates to the 17th century, at least. On the island of Madeira, Verdelho is considered a noble grape, alongside Sercial, Bual and Malvasia. The outbreak of phylloxera had a devastating impact on these noble grapes. Though plantings of these traditional grape varieties have long been dwarfed by the Tinta Negra variety (also known as Negramoll or Tinta Negra Mole), they remain noteworthy because of the distinctive styles of wine they produce.
Verdelho Madeira is traditionally a medium-dry fortified wine. With between 27 and 45 grams per liter of residual sugar, it falls between Sercial and Bual in terms of sweetness. To taste, this style of Verdelho shows distinctive smoky notes, vibrant acidity and considerable saccharinity. Verdelho is the most widely planted of the four traditional varieties. In order to be labelled as a Verdelho Madeira, a wine must contain a minimum of 85-percent Verdelho in its blend.
Australian Verdelho is a dry white table wine and can range from young and relatively simple to full-bodied and tangy wines that have undergone barrel aging. The more full-bodied style is popular in the McLaren Vale, Hunter Valley and elsewhere in Western Australia. Typical flavor descriptors for these wines include tropical fruits, lime, grapefruit and honeycomb. These Verdelho wines are lively and decidedly tangy.
A limited amount of Verdelho is cultivated in the Savennières region of France’s Loire Valley. Other minor plantings can be found in Argentina, California, South Africa and New Zealand.
A number of distinct grape varieties have been referred to as Verdelho at one point or another. The varietal best known as Godello in Spain was once known as Verdelho or Verdelho do Dão. It is found in the Alentejo, Dão and Douro regions on mainland Portugal, and is now officially known as “Gouveio.” Another example is Verdelho Tinto, a virtually extinct variety once grown in Portugal’s Minho region.
Verdelho should not be confused with Verdello, an Italian grape from Umbria, or with Verdejo, the Spanish variety best known in the white wines of Rueda.
If you’re searching for a sweet white wine for dinner or a special occasion, you’ve come to the right place! Browse reviews on top-rated wines submitted by Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s expert tasters using the Buying Guide database below.
Adega Mayor 2019 Verdelho (Alentejano)PortugalLightly spicy and perfumed, the wine is both crisp and softly fruity. ...See Full Review$18
Herdade do Rocim 2020 Verdelho (Alentejano)PortugalThe wine is perfumed with soft acidity and red apple flavors. There ...See Full Review$22
Azores Wine Company 2019 Verdelho o Original Verdelho (Açores)PortugalProduced from a native version of the Verdelho grape, this wine comes ...See Full Review$52
Denier-Handal 2019 Verdelho (Contra Costa County)Central CoastStrong herb and veggie aromas lead to brothy, earthy flavors in this ...See Full Review$21
Fiuza 2019 Verdelho (Tejo)PortugalA new release from this producer, the wine has a distinctive perfumed ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
Europa Village 2018 Bolero Verdelho (California)California OtherWarm aromas of yellow and green apple meet with tropical flowers, baked ...See Full Review$37
Cossart Gordon NV 10 Years Old Verdelho Verdelho (Madeira)PortugalThis medium-dry wine with its intriguing wood and treacle aromas is beautifully ...See Full Review$30
Vezer Family Vineyard 2019 Franci Estate Verdelho (Suisun Valley)North CoastPungent spicy, floral, peppery aromas give this wine an arresting impression at ...See Full Review$35
Blandy's 1976 Verdelho (Madeira)PortugalThe old gold color presages an intense wine. Acidity balances the smokiness ...See Full Review$375
Cossart Gordon 2008 Colheita Single Harvest Verdelho (Madeira)PortugalAt 12 years old, this wood-aged Madeira has plenty of fruit to ...See Full Review$48
Herdade do Esporão 2019 V Verdelho (Alentejano)PortugalA textured, perfumed wine, this is rich and attractively fruity. With touches ...See Full Review$14
Herdade do Rocim 2019 Verdelho (Alentejano)PortugalJuicy with some spice and almond flavors among the green-fruit flavors, this ...See Full Review$22
Meeker 2019 Evina Vineyard Verdelho (Contra Costa County)Central CoastAromas of flint and fresh herbs are followed by crisp acidity and ...See Full Review$21
Scotto Family Cellars 2019 Silvaspoons Vineyard Verdelho (Alta Mesa)Central ValleyThis full-bodied wine shows savory, dried grass aromas and nutty flavors on ...See Full Review$13
Anselmo Mendes 2018 Magma Verdelho (Biscoitos)PortugalThis soft, ripe wine from the Azores is a new island venture ...See Full Review$30
Las Positas 2019 Estate Verdelho (Livermore Valley)Central CoastHoney-like aromas and generous honeydew-melon flavors make this medium-bodied wine superfruity and ...See Full Review$35
Azores Wine Company 2018 Verdelho O Original Verdelho (Açores)PortugalRipe and lightly honeyed, with creamy apple flavors, this is a delicious ...See Full Review$48
Carmim 2018 Monsaraz Verdelho (Alentejo)PortugalTropical fruits, mango and pineapple come from this perfumed wine. It has ...See Full Review$30
Mouchão 2018 Ponte Branco Verdelho (Alentejano)PortugalThis is a return of a historic wine for the estate, a ...See Full Review$30
Terras de Alter 2018 Terra d'Alter VDL Verdelho (Alentejano)PortugalLightly perfumed and attractively fruity, this is an apple and canteloupe flavored ...See Full Review$14
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