Alentejo’s wine making traditions can be traced to Roman times and her historic landmarks reach even further back in time.
Head south from the capital Lisbon and you’re immediately surrounded by cork forests, terraces vineyards and rolling fields of wheat. The Romans recognised the agricultural potential of these vast Alentejo plains, as did the Moors and subsequently the Portuguese. The region’s terrior is a unique combination of granite, limestone and schist soils, with long hours of exposure to unbroken year-round sunshine, and producers use selected grape varieties which date back over 2000 years and are all but forgotten in the other wine producing regions of Europe.
Coveted for their distinct colours, aromas and flavours, Alentejo’s wines are protected under the Denominacao de Origem Controlada which preserves the authenticity of the vinication process and quality of the finished product. White wines are aromatic, fresh and balanced whilst the intense ruby-reds are smooth and often pleasantly astringent. Portalegre, Borba, Redondo and Reguengos are some of DOC wines you’ll sample on your journey through the region, expertly paired along the way with the wonderfully rustic and seasonal cuisine you’d expect from a rural idyll.
You’ll also be taking a journey through time, visiting Portugal’s most-significant Paleolithic and Neolithic sites: Alentejo is one of Europe’s truly ancient landscapes. And the Romans and North African’s didn’t just leave their agricultural mark on Alentejo – you’ll also have a chance to explore the lost Roman city of Ammaia, the ruins at Cetobriga and the Moorish stronghold of Montemor-o-Novo. Not forgetting the magnificent medieval walled towns of Marvao, Monsaraz and Evoramonte: the preserved monuments of the free Kingdom of Portugal.
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