Melgaço, the northernmost point in Portugal, lies just south of the Minho River that separates Portugal and Spain, and its vineyards are only a few kilometers from the Albariño vines of Rias Baixas in Galicia, Spain. A range of mountains protects the region from maritime extremes while allowing for sufficient heat and sunshine. (Soalheiro translates as “a sunny place.”) João Antonio Cerdeira planted Alvarinho vines in 1974 and built a winery in 1982, the first in Melgaço. The Alvarinho grapes for this wine come from several small vineyards planted in granite soil between 100 and 200 meters. The 2014 vintage was sub par in Galicia, but it was excellent in Melgaço because the extra sunshine here allowed for ripening and harvesting before the late September-early October rains that weakened the wines in Galicia. The grapes are harvested manually, taken to the adjacent winery, and pressed. After chilling in tanks for 48 hours to allow the largest solids to precipitate out, the must is inoculated with yeast. After fermentation, the wine is stabilized and bottled. With only 12.5% alcohol, this is a fresh, beautifully balanced, and elegant wine with lovely tropical and mineral notes.