Stretching south from Lisbon’s River Tagus, this wine region takes in both Portugal’s glorious coastline and its sun-baked interior. Discover the best vineyards for wine tasting in Alentejo.
You can enjoy a winery tour in Alentejo as part of Culture Trip’s specially curated nine-day Portugal adventure, led by our local insider.
Alentejo is a richly fertile region, often referred to as the breadbasket of Portugal. Its relatively flat terroir and varied soils are well-suited to viticulture, producing almost half of Portugal’s wines. Known for robust reds and elegant whites, the traditional wineries of the Alentejo’s eight sub-regions still rely on centuries-old techniques to create their celebrated wine. On top of this, the vast, sparsely populated region is the largest cork producer in the world. Stop by one of these wineries, but note, all cellar visits and tours require advance booking.
This celebrated 18th-century estate produces wines as charismatic and uncompromising as their creator, Miguel Louro. Louro is said to have taken on the palatial property and its gorgeous gardens as the result of a 1979 poker game among friends. He rose to the challenge with gusto, planting his first vines in 1989. By 2015, the estate had scooped numerous awards. Louro’s schist-soil vineyards and unusual grape choices buck the wine-production trends in the region, but few would argue with the end result.
This small-scale producer uses biodynamic principles to create quality wines that find their way into the top restaurants across Portugal. Enjoy wine tasting and take a tour of the vineyards and the farm, where the animals – just like the grapes – are treated with the utmost care and respect. Afterwards, stop by the nearby historic city of Évora, a Unesco-listed site.
You don’t have to be a wine buff to enjoy a tour of the Quinta do Carmo estate: it’s home to one of the most elegant and best-preserved stately homes in the Alentejo region. The 18th-century baroque manor and its walled gardens were a gift from King João V to the object of his affections: a lady of the court named Maria. The winery is now in the capable hands of passionate winemaker Júlio Bastos, whose Dona Maria Wines label has won multiple awards.
Visitors flock to this handsome estate, founded by an equestrian family in 1943. They come not only for excellent Alentejo wine tastings (the sparkling whites are a particular standout) but also to admire the private horse-drawn carriage collection and stroll the 3,000ha (7,400 acres) of immaculately maintained vineyards and gardens. Cellar tours include tastings and a chance to learn about the importance of Lusitano horses in the history of the estate and the region.
A visit to this winery and restaurant is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. Award-winning winemaker José Piteira is a master of the art of vinho de talha – wines aged in enormous clay pots, or amphorae. The tradition goes back centuries, but the family-run business fully embraces modern wine tourism. Enjoy a wine masterclass or feast on the estate’s delicious olives, cheeses and cured meats, along with those famous wines
One of relatively few Alentejo wineries that can be easily reached without a car at just 5km (3mi) from the Unesco-listed city of Evora. This baroque estate and working stud farm bottles fine wines under the Pêra-Grave label. The granite terroir produces oaky reds and citrusy whites and, while wine tastings and cellar tours should be booked in advance, the store is open daily with no need to pre-book.