Famous for its biting acidity and dark, opaque colour, Vinhão is the most-planted grape of the Vinho Verde/Minho region.
Unlike most red grapes, where practically all the colour comes from the skins, Vinhão also has red flesh and therefore instant red juice, which then darkens further once the blue-black skins have time to macerate. This is an especial advantage in the case of port production, where colour needs to be extracted very quickly. In the Douro Valley it goes by the name of Souzão, and it is currently being quite widely replanted. Vinhão originated in the Vinho Verde/Minho region, and only later migrated to the Douro. Not being entirely a teinturier grape variety, due to the intense concentration of colouring matter in the skin and to the slightly coloured pulp, it is the Portuguese grape variety with greater colouring capacity.