Last summer we were fortunate enough to visit Lisbon, Portugal, as part of my husband’s work trip. It was my first visit to Portugal and the surrounding wine country. While I do drink a fair amount of French, Italian, and domestic wine, I had almost no exposure to wines from Portugal. Because of a compressed time frame, I decided a wine tour made the most sense for us to try several different wineries and specialities of the Alentejo region.
It was a great day touring with The Best Portugal Wine Tours. Armando was a wonderful, entertaining host and very knowledgable about the region. If you only have a few days and want to maximize your time, I would recommend a tour with The Best Portugal.
These are a few experiences that really stood out for us:
Dona Maria is located in the city of Estremoz and dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. While the estate and chapel dates back to the 18th century, the wine is produced from an adjoining vineyard with a heritage that dates back 150 years. Dona Maria produces Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Aragonês, and Viosinho among several others. I brought home the Dona Maria Grande Reserva which was excellent! One of the most interesting features of the estate that I had never seen personally was a marble wine storage room where grapes are allowed to soak and drain naturally into containers. I still don’t know how the marble looks that pristine!
Monte da Ravasqueira estate is located in Arraiolos and has been linked to one family for several generations. Monte da Ravasqueira offers a wide variety of affordable, high quality wines from Petit Verdot, Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese, and Alvarinho to sparkling and liqueur wines. The estate also produces olive oil, honey, cork, cattle, and has an impressive carriage driving museum.
For lunch, we stopped at a very unique restaurant in Estremoz located in a 16th century jail house. We had a multi-course lunch with salted cod and other local dishes along with….more wine of course! It was one of the food highlights from our entire trip to Portugal and I would recommend a stop if you are in the Alentejo region.
We hope to go back to Lisbon this fall for a quick visit. Do you have any other favorite wine regions in Portugal?