BY SUSANA LOURENÇO . PORTUGAL . EUROPE
Close your eyes. Imagine one of the most beautiful places on earth, made by nature and the hands of men. Draw a crooked grid on a red scorched unpaved floor. Rise from those lines small walls of unhewn lava stones. All black. Pilled up in an apparently ramshackle dance. Touch them. You can feel the sun’s mild heat reserved in their hearts. You can sense the harshness of a land that doesn’t want to be tamed in its raw perforated texture. Your fingers linger on the leaves of a vine, perceiving the slight engraving of nervures on those surfaces that are almost even. Multiply them for thousands. Plant vineyards in your dreamland, their fresh green colour highlighting the existence of life among the centuries old volcanic landscape. Look for their small Verdelho grapes, resiliently hiding from the sea’s salty breeze, harvesting within the sweetness they’re going to need to produce some unique white wines. They bear echoing names like Terras de Lava (“Lava Lands”) or Frei Gigante (“Friar Giant”). They call for you to taste them. Wake up. Look around you. It’s all there. In that gorgeous mountain island called Pico*.*The Protected Landscape of the Culture of the Vineyard in Pico Island, Azores, Portugal, is classified since 2004 as World Heritage by UNESCO, occupying a culture area of 154,4 hectares.