Alentejo is located in southeastern Portugal, southeast of Ribatejo and north of the Algarve. You can drive for miles between the cork oaks and the olive groves, lavender meadows, and sunflowers without seeing a single person or house. In May, before the drought and heat of summer hit, the Alentejo is strikingly green and beautiful. The landscape is hilly, and it is often these slopes that give the vineyards their name. They invariably always start with Monte, unlike the wines from the north of Portugal, which usually start with the word Quinta.
More information about Alentejo
The Alentejo wine region is called the 'California of Portugal'. Alentejo is big, hot, and progressive. Hundreds of top winemakers have revived the forgotten vineyards. The region is best known for its reds and is divided into eight sub-regions: Portalegre, Borba, Redondo, Vidigueira, Reguengos, Mouros, Évora, and Granja-Amareleja. Although each region has its own climate, soil, and regulations, they are all labeled as Alentejo DOC. Today, the wines enjoy a good reputation, and the wines are sold in Portugal for fairly high prices. The Alentejo has attracted considerable attention from the wine press around the world for its impressive quality wines. The Alentejo is one of the most prominent wine regions in Portugal, covering a significant portion of the country's southern interior. This region is known for its vast landscapes, warm climate, and fertile soil, making it an ideal location for winemaking. In the Alentejo, you can experience the California of Portugal, a place where winemaking is thriving, and the wines are gaining international recognition.
As it says in the tekst above the Alentejo wine region is divides into eight sub regions. Each with its own distinctive characteristics and wine styles. Here's an overview of some of the notable sub-regions within Alentejo:
Portalegre: Located in the northern part of Alentejo, Portalegre is known for its higher altitudes and cooler climate, which results in wines with freshness and elegance. The Serra de São Mamede mountains influence the region's terroir. Some producers in Portalegre focus on crafting high-quality red wines.
Borba: Borba is one of the traditional wine-producing areas in Alentejo. It is characterized by rolling plains and a warm climate. Wines from Borba often display ripe fruit flavors and a smooth, easy-drinking style.
Redondo: Redondo, situated in the central part of Alentejo, has a Mediterranean climate and fertile soils. This region is known for producing both red and white wines, with an emphasis on red wines made from native and international grape varieties.
Vidigueira: Vidigueira is located in the southern part of Alentejo and benefits from a warm and dry climate. This region is known for its production of white wines, with a focus on indigenous white grape varieties like Antão Vaz. The wines are often fresh and aromatic.
Reguengos: Reguengos de Monsaraz is situated in the central-south Alentejo and is recognized for its modern winemaking techniques. The region produces a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and rosés. The wines from Reguengos are known for their approachability.
Mouros: Mouros is located in the southern part of Alentejo, near the town of Moura. It is known for its historical vineyards and traditional winemaking methods. The region's wines often have a rustic and authentic character.
Évora: Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage city, is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. The region produces a range of wines, with a focus on reds and whites. Évora's wines are characterized by their balance and structure.
Granja-Amareleja: Located in the southernmost part of Alentejo, Granja-Amareleja has a hot and dry climate. The region is known for producing robust and full-bodied red wines, often made from Aragonez (Tempranillo) and Trincadeira grape varieties.
Alentejo's grape varieties
The Alentejo region in Portugal is renowned for its wide range of grape varieties used in winemaking, both indigenous and international. Some of the notable grape varieties cultivated in this region include:
Aragonez (Tempranillo): Aragonez, known locally as Tempranillo, is a widely planted red grape variety. It is prized for its ability to produce rich and flavorful red wines with excellent aging potential.
Trincadeira: Trincadeira is another significant indigenous red grape variety in the Alentejo. It is frequently included in red wine blends, contributing to the region's full-bodied and aromatic red wines.
Castelão: Also referred to as Periquita, Castelão is another indigenous grape variety with a reputation for versatility. It is commonly used in red wine production, enhancing the depth and character of the wines.
Touriga Nacional: While Touriga Nacional is more commonly associated with the Douro Valley, it is also cultivated in the Alentejo. This grape variety is instrumental in producing high-quality red wines with complex flavors.
Alicante Bouschet: This unique grape variety is known for its deep color and intense flavors. It is frequently used in the production of full-bodied red wines in the Alentejo.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz: These international grape varieties are also grown in the Alentejo and are sometimes utilized to create modern and international-style red wines.
Arinto (Pedernã), Perrum (Palomino Fino), Antão Vaz, and Roupeiro: These are some of the white grape varieties cultivated in the Alentejo, contributing to the creation of fresh and aromatic white wines.
The Alentejo's diverse range of grape varieties allows winemakers to craft an extensive array of wine styles, from full-bodied reds to fresh and aromatic whites. The region's warm climate and fertile soil provide an ideal environment for grape cultivation, resulting in high-quality wines with unique and distinct characteristics.