The Alentejo district covers about one-third of the total wine
growing area of Portugal and lies between Lisbon and the Algarve in the
south-east (to the far south of Dao and Douro).
Alentejo is a region of diverse landscapes (plains, hills, mountains)
characterised by a very hot climate (up to 40C in the summer). Alentejo
wines are very popular, accounting for nearly half of all domestic sales in
Portugal. Wine estates are fairly large and hence able to achieve economies
of scale, and as a result Alentejo wines can combine quality with
competitive pricing, in contrast to some of Portugal’s more northerly
Some white wines are made in the Alentejo, but the region has earned much
acclaim for its red wines of generously fruity, soft-textured, full-bodied
character. Alentejo, with its clay and limestone soils, provides some
of the most exciting wines in Europe, in perfect counterpoint to its
port-influenced cousins further north in the Douro Valley. With a climate
enjoying the best of both Atlantic and continental influences, and a
loyalty to traditional grape varieties, Alentejo nurtures wines of
character and individuality. Add to this the investment and savoir faire of
big wine businesses like Sogrape and their result is fascinating
The principle red varieties are Aragonez, Antão Vaz,
Castelão, Rabo de Ovelha, Síria and Trincadeira,
however newcomers such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are beginning
to gain ground, often in blends with the local varieties.
The white wines are light, easy-going and subtly fruity made from
Arinto Galego, Assario, Fernão Pires, Manteúdo and
Síria (Roupeiro)- among the many indigenous varieties.
The Alentejo region is divided in 8 different sub-regions. Some wines
are named after their respective sub-regions, but most use
“Alentejo”on the label, a more “powerful” and
recognised brand name.
The Évora region has made impressive progress, having won
international awards for its wines. The sub-region Moura has earned its
own "Denomination of Controlled Origin- DOC" designation in recognition for its
potential for quality wine. Portalegre has a dramatically different
landscape from the rest of Alentejo; the vineyards are perched at high altitude
on the hills of the "Serra de São Mamede" and its red wines are more
structured and elegant.
Other regions include the centrally-located Borba, Redondo
and Reguengos de Monsaraz, and the hot, southern regions of
Granja-Amareleja and Vidigueira.