Alentejo Wine Tour

Portugal wine region

Alentejo wine region

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

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!

Dona Maria Estate and chapel

Chapel

Dona Maria Chapel

Dona Maria production room

Monte da Ravasqueira

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.

Ravasqueira estate

Monte da Ravasqueira estate

wine tasting

Wine tasting at Monte da Ravasqueira

A Cadeia Quinhentista

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.

restaurant in Estremoz

A Cadeia Quinhentista

Outside of A Cadeia Quinhentista

We hope to go back to Lisbon this fall for a quick visit. Do you have any other favorite wine regions in Portugal?

 

 

 

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Around the World in 2017

Castle

I have been doing a lot of overseas trip planning lately and it got me to thinking of all the places I have been and want to go in the future. It wasn’t until I sat down with a map and started writing down all the countries that I realized I had been to five continents and well over 20 countries (some multiple times)! Not as many as a lot of travel bloggers, but I’m not really a budget traveler. I fall somewhere around mid-range with a rare luxury experience. I save up for big trips and enjoy myself, but I don’t need to stay in fancy hotels. I’m good with a basic, clean room, a bowl of whatever from the place around the corner, with a bottle of good wine. However, all travel styles have advantages and can give you a different outlook on where and how you travel. I wanted something totally different this year so I am about to embark on a more budget friendly solo Euro trip. It will be a big step outside my comfort zone at my age, but I’m really looking forward to a different perspective and new experiences!

2017 Planned Travel List:

UK (again)

Ireland (again, but staying with friends! YAY!)

Spain

Dominican Republic

Peru (Hiking the Salkantay Trail and Machu Picchu)

Napa or Willamette Valley

Where are you planning to go in 2017?