The art of wine-making in the Alentejo was already well established when the Romans occupied the country’s vineyards, but it is only relatively recently that Alentejan wines have become widely recognized as some of the best in Europe. Many of the region’s vineyards were torn up in the eighteenth century to protect the newly demarcated port wines from the Douro region, while during the last century the Salazar regime encouraged farmers to replace their vines with wheat. It was only in the 1970s that wine co-operatives were re-established, and heavy investment in modern wine-making techniques saw the quality rise dramatically. What makes the wines stand out from elsewhere is that they are made from local grape varieties which thrive in the harsh soils: Touriga Nacional, Aragonez and Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira and Periquita for the reds; and Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro for the whites. The region’s cool winters, warm summers and perfect conditions for ripening grapes give the wines a full-bodied if youngish flavour.

Many of the producers allow visits, where you can find out about the wines, then sample them over dinner – several of the vineyards have restaurants as well as tasting rooms – while the larger ones, such as the Herdade dos Grous, offer tours of their estate by jeep or even horseback. The best place to start is the headquarters of the Rota dos Vinhos do Alentejo in Évora, which can arrange tours to most of the nearby vineyards. Recommended estates to visit include Esporão; Quinta do Carmo near Estremoz, which is part-owned by the Lafite Rothschild group; and Adega Mayor in the Serra de São Mamede, whose landmark heaquarters is a stunning white edifice designed by Portugal’s most famous architect, Álvaro Siza Viera.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 reasons why you should visit Portugal in 2018

6 reasons why you should visit Portugal in 2018

Portugal is less than three hours’ flight time from the UK, while flights from the US are generally available for under $500. Moreover, once you get there, it…

04 May 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
Your Portugal itinerary: 4 road trip ideas to explore the country

Your Portugal itinerary: 4 road trip ideas to explore the country

Portugal is having a real purple patch right now. It’s one of the safest and least expensive countries in Europe with a balmy year-round sunny climate. Your d…

03 May 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

Porto’s cityscape of narrow streets and stepped alleys spreads up the steep slopes of the Douro river to a centre full of broad squares, Neoclassical building…

02 May 2018 • Amanda Tomlin insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs