It is already known that Alentejo is one of the most important destinations in the world when it comes to wine tourism. With its picturesque scenery and golden fields, the destination gathers the most award winning labels, as well as a wide range of wineries throughout its territory.
There are more than 250 producers and vineyards that extend over more than 20 thousand hectares, with many varieties of grapes and types of production, which result in exclusive aromas and notes. The ideal is to take advantage of the small distances, to cross the largest number of places and to experience unique experiences.
Check below the main reasons to go and visit more than one winery during your stay in the largest Portuguese region.
1) Enjoy the best landscapes of the Alentejo
In every corner of the region there is a winery to be discovered. For the most part, the properties are located a little further away from the cities of Alentejo and impress with their vineyards and other types of vegetation. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to be dazzled in the bucolic panoramas and unveil the little treasures along the Alentejo roads.
2) Know the various types of production
Get ready to see the varied processes of winemaking. There are wineries with large-scale production and others that cherish the simplicity of a centuries-old and much slower technique. For the storage stage, there are also distinct methods: the most common is to use French oak barrels. However, some make the fermentation in stainless steel deposits, which gives a different flavor to the drink. Herdade do Rocim, in the small village of Cuba, uses the carving – ancestral technique of fermentation in large containers made of clay – and Adega Ervideira ages one of its most famous wines in the waters of Lake Alqueva.
3) In each winery a different attraction
In addition to guided visits to cellars and wineries, there are numerous activities to do in the wineries. In Quinta do Quetzal, on the outskirts of Beja, visitors are treated to contemporary art exhibitions. The Adega Mayor, in Campo Maior, offers hot air balloon rides and picnics. By mid-September, visitors can lay their hands on the dough and partake of the vintage, the harvest period, and the treading of the grapes.
4) Tasting the dishes of the singular gastronomy
In the Alentejo region, ‘drink well’, but ‘eats’ better still. One of the most authentic gastronomies in Portugal, the wine experience is even more complete when these are harmonized with delicious typical foods such as pork and lamb. Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, in Albernoa, has a restaurant with sophisticated dishes, all inspired by local cuisine. The Adega Cartuxa, in Évora, famous because of the renowned Pêra-Manca, has a perfect menu to accompany the tasting.
5) Vineyards to be lost sight of
The more wineries you visit, the more you will learn about the influences of flavors. One of the characteristics of Alentejo wine is the mixture of different fruits of the vine. Herdade do Esporão, in Reguengos de Monsaraz, plants more than 40 types to produce its brands. Among the most used grape varieties are Aragonês, Trincadeira and Touriga Nacional, among the reds; and Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Arinto, in the whites. The varieties of soils found in the destination also determine these flavors.
6) The more wine, the better
Experiencing a good glass of wine is a fascinating experience that allows you to know the taste, texture and aroma of high quality drinks, such as those produced in Alentejo. For lovers of this delicacy, wine tasting is already a good reason to go to different places and savor the most diverse brands and types, such as reds, rosés and whites. Beginners can still learn more about how to taste, using all the senses to obtain unique sensations that only the Alentejo wine provides.
Photo: GONCALO VILLAVERDE