In historical terms, Negra Mole was once the most planted in the Algarve region. From 2010 onwards, the region saw an exponential growth in producers, and with them the growth of planting international grape varieties to the detriment of national and indigenous varieties. Negra Mole is no longer the basis of the traditional Algarve wines of yesteryear, starting to play a batch secondary or to be completely replaced.
The variety has enormous potential, but it is yet to be explored what so much has to give. In terms of your genetic variability, in a national ampelographic study, Negra Mole was considered the 2nd oldest grape variety from Portugal, right after Sercial.
In ancient times it was very planted, this was mainly due to the fact that it was perfectly adapted to the terroir. This is demonstrated by its good behaviour in the vineyard, easily producing large quantities, while at the same time being resistant to diseases and problems in the vineyard.
The resulting wines Claret Style, open red colour, with little acidity and low in tannins. A wine profile with little demand, and hence if it explains some disinterest in the grape variety. However, at present, the world trend is extremely favourable to the Negra Mole. Firstly, because it is exclusive to the Algarve region and because it is a symbolic variety with history and tradition. Second, there is a global trend towards lighter-bodied and more uncomplicated wines.
A very versatile variety, in the sense that it produces white wines when gently pressed, rosés, reds with a maceration for a short or longer time and sparkling wines.
Wines that pair very well with the local gastronomy, very much based on sea products, where the conjugation with warmer temperatures invite wine lighter and easier to drink, often asked to be cooled as a way to fight the heat.
Negra Mole has everything to be, in the near future, the wine symbol of the Algarve. Imagine the perfect pairing that is a Negra Mole wine with some tasty grilled sardines, a feast much appreciated by our grandparents.