In the eastern part of the Minho province, also known as Costa Verde, and situated along the border with Trás-os-Montes,
you will find the Serra da Cabreira (Mountains of the Goat Shepherdess). This is an old, granite, low mountain range with steep valleys and clear mountain streams
and rounded peaks, the highest 1262 metres.
In the west and south are the towns of Vieira do Minho and Cabeceiras de Basto, surrounded by smaller villages
, some of which only just entered modern times. In the village square near the public fountain there’s a plaque to commemorate the recent opening of the tarmac road.
The people have lived for centuries on the basis of subsistence and small-scale farming. Twice a day three or four cows
with big horns are led from the village to the fields. The harvest is kept in espigueiros
(the local name is canastros
), narrow, granite-built sheds on legs that are a characteristic feature of the Minho.
All fields, meadows and yards are bordered with high climbing vines, which produce a red wine with a high tannin content. This wine is mainly for home use. Professional growers
however produce a very good sparkling white vinho verde
. In the sub-region called Terras de Basto (including Cabeceiras, Celorico and Mondim de Basto) and the municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso are some renowned wine growers who export an important part of their yield.
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