Portuguese wine regions
Portugal has at least 250 indigenous varieties, and that is only one of the elements that make Portuguese wines so wonderfully different and interesting! Confusingly, many varieties go by different names in different regions, and some are terribly difficult to pronounce – but we’ll demystify the process! Let’s explore this intriguing wine country.
PORTUGAL AND WINE, TWO INSEPARABLE WORLDS
If Douro is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world defined in 1754, Portugal with a size that is a 18% of Spain’s territory, is the 11th largest wine producer. Far from mainland, the breathtaking islands of Madeira and Azores are intrinsically linked to winemaking tradition too; the noble Madeira wines and the volcanic Azorean compete only in the beauty of their sceneries.
14 main wine regions draw Portugal’s Bacchus delusion, and not without reason, with scarcely 10 million inhabitants, Portuguese are among the biggest wine-consumers in the world.
Let’s satisfy our winelust and transport our minds to Portugal with this personal guide to Portuguese winesm
While Douro remains king, northern Portugal makes world-class reds in Dão and Bairrada, where baga grape reigns and sparklings are attracting fine palates the world over. The elegant whites in Vinho Verde deserve special mention and the north also hides undiscovered gems such as the wines from Trás-os-Montes, the remonte north east region set in granite mountains where growing anything is hard. Who have ever heard before about Tavora Varosa wines? Get to know some of the lesser known landscapes and wines in Portugal.
✧ Vinho Verde
✧ Vinho do Porto
✧ Távora e Varosa
Central Portugal is region rich of monuments and a great cultural heritage. In terms of wine it’s not less interesting. Lisboa are is Portugal’s largest producer of wine by volume, yes, the city of the 7 Hills is surrounded by vineyards and historical quintas easily accessible. On the eastern side of Lisbon is Tejo, formerly designated as Ribatejo, where some new entrepreneurs are exploring top of the range wines. Lesser known is Beira Interior that sets besides the highest mountain range in mainland Portugal, Serra d’Estrela, and longs the Spanish border dotted with ancient villages and fortified town. Wines benefit from an exceptional good acidity and remarkable freshness. And Setúbal hides real gems, like the world known moscatel de Setúbal.
✧ Peninsula de Setúbal
✧ Beira Interior
SOUTH OF PORTUGAL
One third of the Portuguese territory is occupied by the Alentejo, a hot and dry land dotted with fortress-castles and white walled towns because the Alentejo resounds with history. Discover olling landscape of bull-breeding ranches, olive orchards, cork forests and vineyards.
Beach lovers will easily associate the names of the Algarvian appellations: Portimão, Lagoa, Lagos and Tavira are some of the most famous sun-baked cities in South Portugal. The Algarve has a well-rooted wine history, let us guide you.
In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Portuguese island of Madeira is a secret to discover, hidden between lush mountains. Beautiful towns with a tropical touch and its capital, Funchal, vital and cheerful. And Madeira wines are a gem to discover. Follow the same currents that whales, sailors and travelers who want to feel nature and you will reach stunning Azores, and its stunning volcanic wines.