The famous Alentejo wines are appreciated not only by the Portuguese but are loved by wine connoisseurs worldwide. The region is also famous for its exquisite gastronomy. Alentejo received a substantial amount of funding which allow them to improve production, which ultimately led to the production of some of the best Portuguese wines and with that came the international recognition the region now has.
Situated in the South of Portugal, Alentejo is a beautiful region of endless plains interrupted by a few hills here and there. The weather is hot and sunny, I would say that if Portugal had a desert, Alentejo would be it, even though the landscape does not resemble a desert. In summer temperatures are very high which require irrigation. The soil is predominantly clay, granite, limestone and schist which are very poor. The sub-region Portalegre is influenced by the microclimate from the São Mamede Mountain, where the temperatures are lower.
The region is divided into 8 sub-regions: Portalegre, Borba, Évora, Redondo, Reguengos, Granja-Amareleja, Vidigueira and Moura. All of them carry the Denomination of Origin stamp.
Alentejo has set regulation in regards to the grapes used in the wines carrying the Denomination of Origin wines, however, some producers choose to produce regional wines that can have other grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay. Some of these regional wines are award-winning and recognised worldwide. In the red native grapes, we will find Alfroncheiro, Aragonez, Moreto, Tinta Caiada and Trincadeira. In the white varieties, there’s Antão Vaz, Rabo de Ovelha and Síria.
Alentejo is without a doubt one of my favourite regions of Portugal, both for its food and wines. The hot climate is perfect for wine and the results are exquisite in this region. The reds are usually full-bodied and rich in tannins with an aroma of wild red berries. The whites are soft and slightly acidic with a delicious aroma of tropical fruits. A great combination for the exquisite local food.