With this in mind, let’s look at the best wineries and vineyards that should be on the bucket list of any wine connoisseur. You can get great deals for Portuguese holidays via Teletext Holidays and similar travel companies that package the destination.
Portugal’s Douro Valley is one of the most famous wine-producing regions in the world. Grapes have been grown here for 2000 years. One of the many aspects that sets the Douro Valley apart is that it produces port wine or port. This has a wine brandy (aguardente) added to it at the fermentation stage, which gives the offering a distinctive taste.
In 2001, UNESCO made the region a World Heritage Site. Here are some highlights of any tour of the region. It is only 60 miles from Lisbon.
- Quinta do Portal– Those in the know say this is a must-visit. It has an up-to-date visitor center and you do not have to book ahead, which is relatively unique in wine tasting circles.
- Quinta de la Rosa– This family-owned farm has a solid reputation for offering excellent wine tasting tours. Check the opening times, and it is wise to book ahead. The farm is situated on the banks of the Douro.
- Quinta do Passadouro– This charming estate offers great wine tasting and accommodation. You may want to stay for a night before heading back to your resort.
- Quinta do Seixo– This centuries-old vineyard has a solid reputation for providing some of the best wine tasting tours in Portugal. No appointments are necessary, so come at your leisure.
Head to northwest Portugal and you will quickly arrive in Minho. This region is known for being the home to ‘Vinho Verde’ or green wine. ‘Green’, in this instance, refers to the fresh or unripe grape. In turn, the wine produced is ideally consumed early after production and not left to mature over time.
If you like crisp, fizzy wine, you’ll particularly enjoy vineyards from this region. Consider:
- Quinta do Ameal– This 18th-century vineyard and winery produce excellent white wines made from a grape called Loureiro.
- Paço de Teixeiró– This 14th-century estate has been producing white wines for almost 500 years. Again, the perfect place to come if you want a wine tasting tour featuring fresh, crispy white wine.
Up until the 1980s, this region wasn’t held in high regard for winemaking. After the ‘80s, the story is very different. Leveraging the very hot and dry climate which is ideal for red wine, Alentejo is known for producing some of the finest red wines in the world.
Some of the vineyards and wineries in the region were among the first to get World Wine Route certification.
Alentejo has not forgotten its past. It has become well known for using old Roman methods to produce wine. Vinho de Talha is a highly fragrant deep red wine, stored in huge clay pots before bottling. Romans would have enjoyed gallons of wine prepared in this way.
- Herdade do Esporão– Herdade do Esporão was instrumental in putting Alentejo back on the wine tasting map. The vineyard and winery were the first to get the World Wine Route certification. They cater to tourists offering plenty of attractions. You can tour the vineyard by jeep, for example, and they have an atmospheric wine bar.
- Cartuxa Winery– This former Jesuit house dating back to 1775 is less than 2 miles from the Evora, a famous town first established by the Romans. They produce wine using a wine press and follow other traditional methods. Cartuxa is known for producing wines that have a distinctive, unique flavor.
There are other regions where you can sample delicious wine in Portugal and discover where and how it is made. The country is small but has a good transport network so you can get around and see different parts of it no matter where you are based.
Lisbon also possesses wineries and vineyards, and you may want to check out Sala Ogival de Lisboa. They offer a range of wine tasting tours featuring different wines from around the country.
If you are into your wines – and why wouldn’t you be? – Portugal is one of the great wine-producing nations of the world. You won’t be disappointed with what you savor, and you may want to try all the famous regions before your group heads home.