what regions to visit without being an expert

The wine is intertwined with the history of Portugal, which has a strong tradition in the production of this drink. In all regions of the country there are wineries open to tourists. They can either enjoy excellent labels and great food or stay in some of these properties. In some cases, the program includes participation in the harvest, the harvest period, which takes place between August and September.

Over the last two decades, wine tourism in Portugal has served as a pretext for travelers to Brazil to get to know nature, culture and a little of the Portuguese people. Opportunity to enter a country that is not limited to the capital of Lisbon, but whose interior bears in the cultivation of grapes equally recognizable traces of our origin.

Credit: Visit PortugalPort wine, a classic from the Douro region

This desire to explore Portuguese territory is easy to perceive, according to Filipe Silva, director of Visit Portugal, the country’s official tourism promotion agency. “There are a growing number of Brazilians interested in traveling along gastronomic and wine routes,” he says. Silva says that in the last two years, around 170,000 tourism professionals have been retrained, many of them from wine tourism. “Brazilians visiting us today are demanding and experienced, so we need to be prepared,” he added.

No one needs to be an expert to enjoy a wine tour in Portugal. But you can learn a little about tannin, recognize the notes (flavors) and even find out which label matches which food (matching) by visiting some wineries. “It is natural for visitors to Portugal to think of two regions, Alentejo and Douro, for their history and tradition,” said Sónia Martins, chief winemaker and chairman of Lusovini’s board, a winery in Nelas, a town in 30 minutes. from Viseu, in the region of Dão.

The Alentejo route brings together tradition and precious stones

The largest region in Portugal has 73 producers associated with the Alentejo Regional Viticultural Commission (CVRA), based in Évora. In this space, visitors can enjoy four local wines (5 euros per person for 50 minutes). Alentejo’s property program is also available there, such as Adega Cartuxa, Pêra-Manca’s home. Considered one of the best in the world, its production does not exceed 40,000 bottles.

Wine tourism in Portugal: what regions to visit without being an expert

Credit: Advertising / Turismo do AlentejoCartuxa winery, home of the iconic Pêra-Manca

In Alentejo, viticulture also refers to the traces of the Roman occupation of the region, about 2 thousand years ago. The most notable legacy is talha wine, handcrafted using a technique in which the grapes are fermented in huge clay containers. Honored Vineyards and Adega Cooperativa Vidigueira, Cuba and Alvito are examples of where you can taste this ancient tradition. In Ervideira, the curiosity is in the process known as water wine, in which part of the maturation of the drink is done in bottles immersed in Lake Alqueva.

Wine tourism in Portugal: what regions to visit without being an expert

Credit: Advertising / Turismo do AlentejoMonsaraz, one of the cities along the Alentejo Wine Route, Portugal

The past penetrates every trip that takes place in Portugal, guaranteeing authentic tourist experiences. The headquarters of the former Order of Hospitallers, the Flor da Rosa fortress-monastery has been transformed into a luxury inn. In it, the guest sleeps in a medieval room, but with the comfort and service of contemporary hotels. It is located 22 km from Portalegre, in the Serra de São Mamede, the place chosen by Sónia Martins for the development of Sericaia, Lusovini’s Alentejo label.

Credit: Advertising / Turismo do AlentejoSculpted wine is found in wineries such as Honored Vineyards

In Douro, the world of Porto wine

Douro is considered the oldest delimited production region in the world (1756) and where an article is considered by many experts to be complex. In addition to the fame and popularity gained, especially in eighteenth-century England, Porto wine brought head drinks to the Portuguese due to numerous attempts to counterfeit the drink. Therefore, it was necessary to create a controlled area of ​​origin, something similar was done in French Bordeaux about a century later.

Today, visitors to the northern city of Portugal can’t escape the temptation to take part in guided tours of cellars like Taylor’s and Sandeman, followed by a vintage tasting (with its classic dark color) or a tawny (yellow version of the drink). ). ). .

Wine tourism in Portugal: what regions to visit without being an expert

Credit: Victor Carvalho / Turismo do AlentejoTourists participate in the harvest in the Douro region

Since 2020, the historic center of Vila Nova de Gaia, a city adjacent to Porto, has gained a new attraction. The World of Wine (WOW) is a complex involving wine and gastronomy, consisting of 12 restaurants, bars and cafes. In this special world, there are themed shops, seven museums and a wine school where workshops and tastings are organized for experts and, of course, the curious.

Credit: Disclosure / WOWThe outer market of the World of Wine, in the Porto region

Those who choose to drive on the roads in the Douro region will find a large number of plantations on the mountain slopes of the river along the road. Places such as Mesão Frio, Peso da Régua and Vila Real are surrounded by vineyards. For Sónia Martins in Lusovini, the smaller properties allow for closer contact with the manufacturer, which can lead to a more interesting experience. “If you can go to a small farm, talk to the owner, find out how the brand came about, or talk to the local winemaker, maybe it’s more authentic,” he explains.

Credit: DisclosureSuite Villa Galé de la Quinta do Val Moreira

Reclassified for wine tourism in 2018, Quinta do Val Moreira has a 250-year history of Port and Douro wine production. Part of the property is occupied by the Vila Galé Douro vineyards, one of the largest hotel chains in Portugal. To stay there is to have the chance to contemplate the river, to walk through the vineyards, olive groves and even to see almonds in bloom. A cruise along the Tedo and Douro waters to visit other wineries in the region is one of the hotel’s suggestions.

By Ferdinand Victorino

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Nathalia Molina and Fernando Victorino are travel journalists interested in places, cultures and stories. For more tips and experiences, follow @ComoViaja on Instagram and Facebook

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