The Romans and ancient civilisations before them savoured the succulent grapes grown from the vines of Alentejo with its rolling hills and fertile landscape. This famous region, which accounts for around one third of Portugal, has a long history of wine-making and today remains as popular as ever, producing some of Portugal’s best-loved wines.
The rich heritage of this region, combined with the immense vineyards that stretch for miles, places Alentejo firmly on the Portuguese wine map. Throughout the country renowned Alentejo wines are listed on the menus of restaurants, bars and cafés and are the choice of many wine-lovers who relishes a high quality wine such as the reds and whites of Alentejo.
The northwestern part of Alentejo, close to the Spanish border, is more mountainous with a verdant landscape and as such creates microclimates very favourable to growing good quality grapes. And in the south where the climate is warmer, vines grow among the gentle hills and the large areas of flat land.
The typical red wines of Alentejo are best described as fruity, rich and are considered very easy to drink, palatable and smooth. The most commonly planted black grape is the Aragonez (Tempranillo) and for whites the premium Antão Vaz grape is frequently used. The new generation of reds also feature imported grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
As for Alentejo’s white wines, they are a little more difficult to produce but come with spectacular results. If you get a chance to try any kind of Alentejo wine while on holiday in Portugal, make sure you take it!