While Portugal is most famous for its Port, the fortified wine only begins to tell the story of Portuguese wine, with new interest in the country’s countless non-fortified offerings, both red and white.

Still, beyond Port, wines from Portugal remain a footnote on most restaurant wine lists. And that’s a shame because the availability of quality Portuguese wines here has soared since the time when, for most Americans, Portugal meant the cheap rosés of Mateus and Lancers and not much more (just ask your grandparents).

Portugal produces impressive wines from north to south, drawing on a winemaking legacy that goes back hundreds of years: The world’s first demarcated wine region was purportedly created in 1756 for Port production in the Douro Valley. (By comparison, France’s Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system was only started in 1936). And Portugal is home to more than 250 native grape varieties.

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“Diversity could be Portugal’s watchword, at least in terms of grapes,” Simon J. Wolff and Ryan Opaz write in “Foot Trodden: Portugal and the Wines That Time Forgot.” “Its vineyards teem with varieties that are rarely seen outside the country. The fashion for ripping them out in favour of Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay never took hold in Portugal as much as it did in other parts of Europe.”

On the list below, you won’t find a single Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Portuguese wines practically scream their authenticity and originality. And yet until recently, Portugal was largely overlooked. This week, I’m scratching the surface with a sampling of some of the whites, which are excellent choices as we approach summer — or in just about any season.

For white wines, the best-known region is Vinho Verde, also known as the Minho Valley, in Portugal’s northwest corner. These days, Vinho Verde is moving beyond its reputation for light, low-alcohol, spritzy wines — often injected with a shot of CO2 to give them a bit of fizz — produced in bulk from various grapes as inexpensive, refreshing quaffers.

The region offers more serious wines, especially those from the Alvarinho grape, that can be every bit as good as their counterparts from across the Minho River in Spain’s Galicia, where the grape is called the more familiar Albariño. Vinho Verde wines in the $15–$20 range should definitely be on your radar.

To the southwest lies the famed Douro Valley, and while the Douro is synonymous with Port, the breathtaking region now produces about as much still wine as Port. The white wines are well worth exploring. On the list below, I’ve also included a couple of white wines from the farther reaches of Portugal, namely Madeira and the Azores.

Beyond their inherent interest, two other things set these wines apart: Most are in the $20-or-under range and most have moderate alcohol levels from 12–13 percent.

Here are six white wines from Portugal to try:

João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2022

João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2022 is one of the best white wines from Portugal.

João Portugal Ramos is one of the country’s most celebrated winemakers, producing wines throughout Portugal. This delicious wine is from the best-known Vinho Verde subregion, Moncão e Melgaco, and is 100 percent Alvarinho. Tropical fruit, orange, and grapefruit notes are accented by hints of baking spices and vanilla. A small part of the wine is fermented in new French oak barrels, which softens the finish.

Price: $20
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Wine & Soul ‘Guru’ Branco Douro 2022

Wine & Soul ‘Guru’ Branco Douro 2022 is one of the best white wines from Portugal.

From a family-owned estate in the Douro, this wine is made from equal parts Viosinho, Rabigato, Codega do Larinho, and Gouveio — grapes indigenous to northern Portugal. There’s lots of complexity here, with ripe green apple, white peach, orange, and strawberry flavors joined by hints of brown sugar, almond, and a wet-stone minerality. Aged for seven months in new French oak barrels, there’s a nice creamy layer on the finish. A spectacular wine.

Price: $40
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Duorum ‘Tons de Duorum’ Douro 2022

Duorum ‘Tons de Duorum’ Douro 2022 is one of the best white wines from Portugal.

Another label from João Portugal Ramos, this bargain wine from the Douro is a blend of Viosinho, Rabigato, Verdelho, Arinto, and Moscatel. Fruit-forward with refreshing acidity and notes of apricot, pineapple, and citrus. It has a hint of spice and a touch of vanilla, though it was aged in stainless steel with no oak exposure.

Price: $11
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Ilha do Pico ‘Terras de Lava’ Açores 2020

Ilha do Pico ‘Terras de Lava’ Açores 2020 is one of the best white wines from Portugal.

The name of this wine says it all. It’s from the island of Pico in Portugal’s Azores, about 900 miles west of Lisbon in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The grapes are grown in the island’s lava soils: 70 percent Arinto dos Açores, which is native to the Azores, and a combined 30 percent Fernão Pires, Verdejo (also called Verdelho), and Moscatel. Ilha do Pico is a cooperative of more than 250 producers. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and is dry, austere and mineral-driven. Pink grapefruit, white peach, a touch of cream from a few months of lees aging, and a wisp of brine. Simple yet delightful.

Price: $18
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Broadbent Madeirense Branco 2021

Broadbent Madeirense Branco 2021 is one of the best white wines from Portugal.

The Portuguese island of Madeira, which lies off the coast of North Africa, is known for its namesake fortified wine, which is seeing renewed interest among wine lovers. But Madeira also produces a small number of non-fortified wines under the Madeirense appellation, including this one by Broadbent, a top name in Madeira wines. The blend is mainly Verdelho, one of the main grapes used in the fortified wines. The wine is produced and bottled for Broadbent by Justino’s Madeira Wines, a large producer on the island. Crisp and medium-bodied, it shows white peach, tropical fruit, and lemon notes with mineral and saline touches. It’s also an excellent value.

Price: $20
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Casal de Ventozela Vinho Verde 2022

Casal de Ventozela Vinho Verde 2022 is one of the best white wines from Portugal.

Another delicious bargain Vinho Verde, this one is made entirely from the excellent Arinto variety. The grape’s high acidity makes it refreshing and perfect for warm-weather drinking. Tropical fruit flavors are accented by hints of lime and orange pith, almond, and saline. Aging is in stainless steel with some lees stirring to give it a bit of creaminess.

Price: $14
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