For years and years the Portuguese wine has been appreciated and much desired by people from all over the world. On this account, there is a segment of tourism activity that is gaining more and more relevance in Portugal: the enotourism or wine tourism.
When you visit Portugal, make sure to visit some of the best wine regions and wineries where you can savour amazing red, white or sparkling wines and much more.
Vinho Verde Route
Our journey begins in the North of Portugal, in the biggest Portuguese Wine Region: Vinhos Verdes Wine Region.
This region is confined in the north by Minho river, and stretches to south to the shores of Vouga river, and is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean breezes. Here, we can find some of the best Portuguese wine, both in white wines, with special relevance for the Alvarinho vine variety, and in red wines.
Some of the most important locations that you should visit in this wine region are Monção, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Barcelos, Amarante, Braga and Guimarães.
There are some amazing places and landscapes that the enotourism presents to those visiting this region. Take the example of Brejoeira Palace, in the village of Monção.
This palace offers to wine tourists the possibility of visiting its interior, the chapel, the gardens, the woods, the winery, the vineyards and, of course, savour the wonderful wine Alvarinho Palácio da Brejoeira.
If you want to visit this palace but you don’t know where to sleep, don’t worry! I have the perfect suggestion for you, one that you’re going to love – Solar de Serrade (affiliate link).
This magnificent property is located 4 km away from Brejoeira Palace and offers its guests an affordable accommodation.
Here, you can savour its wonderful wine of the Alvarinho variety and admire the beautiful landscape of this region – because wine tourism is not only savouring wines but also the appreciation of local cultures and landscapes.
Port Wine Route
Several white, red and rosé wines are produced in this region but it is the Port wine that stands out. Actually, this wine is the main ambassador of the Portuguese wine in the other countries and it is also because of it that thousands of wine tourists come to Portugal every year.
Despite having the name of the city of Porto, located in the coastline, it is actually in the Douro Valley region that this wine is produced, in the steep slopes of Douro river. This unique and worth to be seen landscape is the oldest demarcated region in the world and has won the title of World Heritage in 2001.
Among other great wineries, I’ve picked the amazing Quinta do Vallado (affiliate link) where you can spend some wonderful days and nights! This winery can arrange wine tasting sessions and tours to its cellar and vineyards.
Apart from the beautiful landscape that you can enjoy, you can also visit Museu do Douro, just 5 km away from Quinta do Vallado.
I most definitely recommend a visit to this Portuguese region. However, if you don’t want to go to this beautiful place, you can also savour the tasteful Port wine in the magnificent Porto city.
After a stroll through Porto‘s historic centre, also World Heritage, you can visit one of the several Port wine cellars that organise guided tours and wine tasting sessions all year.
For further information you can visit Port wine cellars‘ website.
Setúbal Peninsula Wine Route
Setúbal Muscatel, a renowned Portuguese wine, is produced in this region, south of Tagus river, and stretches to part of Alentejo’s coastline.
Unlike the wines produced in Douro Valley wine region, the vineyards growing in the Setúbal Peninsula are characterised for being set in plain areas, not in steep slopes. The most common climate here is the Mediterranean, however there are some Atlantic influences, especially in Serra da Arrábida area.
Much like the other demarcated regions, this also has its natural beauty where I can point out the beautiful Sesimbra and Portinho da Arrábida beaches and the wonderful Serra da Arrábida.
Among other important factors, the muscatel, with Setúbal designation of origin, is characterised for being the wine with the most aromatic variety in the world. Its main production is in the cities of Setúbal, Palmela and Montijo.
To spend some nights in this beautiful Portuguese region, you can stay in the magnificent hotel A Serenada (affiliate link), some kilometres south of Setúbal Peninsula.
If you stay here, know that you can schedule a tasting session of this Portuguese wine or even a wine workshop (includes a tasting session and a tour to the cellar and vineyards, in the presence of an oenologist).
Take this opportunity to get to know the beautiful mountain ridge Serra de Grândola and the amazing Alentejo beaches, just 13 km away from the A Serenada.
Alentejo Wine Route
In Alentejo, the biggest region in the Portuguese territory, you’ll find a unique selection of white, red and rosé wines. This wine region is subdivided into eight sub-regions: Portalegre, Borba, Évora, Redondo, Reguengos, Granja-Amareleja, Vidigueira and Moura.
You should visit the whole region, but if you can’t do that at least go to the magnificent city of Évora, World Heritage since 1986. Discover its historic centre, where you’ll find the amazing Roman Temple, the cathedral and the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones).
The specificity of these Alentejo wines comes from the geography and climate, very unique to this Portuguese region.
Apart from Portalegre, influenced by Serra de São Mamede and its granitic soils, the remaining areas are plain, not allowing the condensation of the humidity that comes from the sea, and have a very warm and dry climate. All of these characteristics make these wines highly aromatic.
There are several hotels and wineries where you can stay while visiting Alentejo, but my suggestion is the wonderful wine resort L’AND Vineyards (affiliate link).
This amazing five-star resort is located just 40 km from the historic centre of Évora. Take this opportunity to visit its cellars and vineyards and, why not, relax while savouring some great Portuguese wines.
Portuguese Wine in other regions
Aside from the already mentioned wonderful regions, there are some others that we could not forget – others that take the Portuguese wine beyond borders. Let’s look at the examples of the wines from the wine regions of Bairrada, Madeira and Azores.
Bairrada wine region, in the Centre of Portugal, stands out from the other Portuguese regions because it was one of the first to produce sparkling wine. These wines go together with some of the most tasteful dishes of this region, where we can suggest the tasteful Bairrada suckling pig.
Madeira is known worldwide as an excellent tourist destination and this is also a consequence of the famous wine produced in this region. The Madeira wine combines several unique characteristics such as the soil, the climate and its production process; it’s a liqueur wine with an alcohol content of 17 % to 22 %.
Some great wine is also produced in the islands of Pico, Terceira and Graciosa. Its unique location gave Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture the title of World Heritage in 2004. Their wines are also liqueur wines.
Concluding, I can say that the Portuguese wine is one of the best in the world and the wine tourism gives the opportunity to discover the places where they are produced.
Aside from discovering wines, the wine tourism also promotes the amazing landscapes, culture and heritage from these and other wine regions. What are you waiting for? Visit Portugal!
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