MELGAÇO – the country’s northernmost outpost – is a small border town sitting high above the Rio Minho, 23km from Monçao (served by four weekday buses, two at weekends). It has a pretty traditional centre clustered round a towering fortress though is best known for its local wine, the area around it producing the finest vinho verde in the country. It’s made from the Alvarinho grape, which produces a full-bodied wine with a much higher alcoholic content (around 12.5 percent) than other vinhos verdes, and consequently has the ability to age. You can try this and other types at the Solar do Alvarinho, located in a sixteenth-century former prison on Rua Direita in the old town, which also doubles as a handicrafts shop.

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