Algarve has wines too, even though the majority of people know this region for its beaches and tourist attractions. The region is located in the South of Portugal and it’s been long known as a tourism destination. In fact, due to the massive increase in tourism in the region, the vines were replaced by hotels and resorts, golf courses and, unfortunately, wine production almost became extinct. In recent years, there has been a new interest in revitalizing wine production in Algarve and it ended up saving the region altogether. There has been some investment in the region to revitalize the production of some grape varieties, new production methods and modernizing the industry. It is important to understand that some tourists also appreciate good wines and wine tours, so maybe there’s even the chance of having both in the future.
Situated in the South of Portugal, Algarve has a very specific climate. The sea on the south side and the mountains on the north side. There are 3 major mountain complexes in Algarve, Espinhaço de Cão Mountain (Serra do Espinhaço de Cão), Caldeirão Mountain (Serra do Caldeirão) and Monchique Mountain (Serra de Monchique). These mountains play a very important role in wine production as they protect the region from the cold northerly winds. The climate is hot and dry all year round and the region enjoys an average of 3000 hours of sun a year. A delight for tourists and the grapes alike.
The region is divided in 4 sub-regions: Lagos, Lagoa, Portimão and Tavira. The majority of wines produced in Algarve carry the designation of “regional wine from Algarve”.
The main red varieties produced in Algarve are Negra Mole, also called Tinta Negra, and Castelão. In the white varieties, you will find Arinto, Malvasia fina e Síria. Recently, it was also introduced the international variety Syrah, which proved to adapt quite well to the climate of the region.
The Algarvean climate is great for wine production and the result of that are beautiful wines very soft and fruity. So next time you visit Algarve, don’t just visit the beaches, come and taste its beautiful wines.