Dark red wines, dense and mouth-filling.
Modern wine makers drawn to the Alentejo have made this region very popular with the Portuguese. The clean and fullsome character of these wines made from indigenous grape varieties is much appreciated.
The Portalegre sub region of Alentejo is a DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) because the convergence in the hills of São Mamede of Mediterranean and Atlantic climates creates a micro climate. This micro climate and the granite based soil on which the majority of vines grow produce wines which are different in character from the rest of Alentejo. Red wines are predominant here, they are deeply coloured and while still young give off an intensive aroma of the red fruits of summer, backed by a certain sharpness and full body.
Recommended varieties of red grapes are: Aragonez, Grand Noir, Periquita, Trincadeira and Cinsault. Recommended white wine grapes: Arinto Alcobaça, Arinto Galego, Roupeiro / Alva, Assario, Tamarez and Fernão Pires. Varieties also authorised are Alicante Bouschet, Moreto, and Boal de Alicante, Diagalves and Manteúdo.
Some Alentejo wine producers have joined the project Alentejo Wine Tours, promoting visits to their wine cellars and wine tasting sessions - by appointment. Around Portalegre they are Adega da Cabeça, Portalegre Co-operative, Monte da Penha and Tapada do Chaves.
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From €140 per person per week.