Let’s start with some curiosities about Alentejo wines.
- There are about 166 wine producers in Alentejo.
- The producers are distributed in 8 Controlled Denomination of Origin areas – Portalegre, Borba, Redondo, Reguengos, Vidigueira, Évora, Granja / Amareleja and Moura. In my opinion, the best areas, are all of them.
Portugal wine regions
In Portugal there are several wine regions – Vinho Verde; Trás-os-Montes; Porto e Douro; Távora-Varosa; Bairrada; Dão; Beira Interior; Lisboa; Tejo; Península de Setúbal; Alentejo; Algarve; Açores and Madeira – but my favorites wines come from Alentejo because they are sweeter and rounder in the mouth, more dense whites, with lots of fruit. What it does not lack is variety of choice. The region is known for mature wines, with softer and fuller tannins, ready to drink.
The Alentejo is the first region in the Hemisphere to harvest, with over 3200 hours of sunshine, which leads to faster maturation. Most of the landscape is flat and calm. Alentejo wines have a 42% share of sales in the domestic market.
In Alentejo there are all kinds of grape varieties, more specifically 250, from national to international. My favorite – and if you ever visit Alentejo, you can’t miss visiting Vidigueira, that’s where my favorite white grape variety Antão Vaz, is planted.
Antão Vaz is one of the most valued grape varieties in the region, but it doesn’t do so well in others regions. It enjoys a warm and sunny climate. As a rule, it gives rise to structured, firm and full-bodied wines. When harvested early, it provides very aromatic wines, with notes of tropical fruit, mainly pineapple and dried mango. Many producers do not like it because it does not do very well in other regions, they prefer Arinto because it is more versatile.
Arinto provides vibrant wines with lively acidity, refreshing and with strong mineral pendency, the grapes has a high potential for aging. It is often used in the production of blended wines and also sparkling wine. Its aromas tend to be more citrusy, like lime, lemon and also green apple.
Most planted grape varietals
Just out of curiosity I wanted to mention the 10 most planted grape varieties in Portugal which are: Aragonez (Tinta Roriz); Touriga Franca; Castelão; Fernão Pires; Touriga Nacional; Trincadeira; Baga; Roupeiro; Arinto and Syrah.
Visit Alentejo and I guarantee you will not regret it. Not only for the wines, the landscape it astounding and unique.
Written by Verónica