Enjoying The Wines Of The Algarve

Winemaking in the Algarve dates back several centuries and is the result of traditions that were introduced to the region by several different ancient civilisations including the Romans, Phoenicians and Greeks. The Romans did a lot to expand their wine production in the settlements of Lusitania, which is modern day south Portugal. Wines produced here were consumed locally as well as being exported to Rome. There are several different wine growing regions throughout Portugal, with Algarve being one of them.

These days, wines from the Algarve are being recognised for their quality, winning awards and earning acceptance and praise in the international market. Some of the most notable wines from the Algarve region include Red castas Trincadeira, Negra Mole, Periquita, Aragonez and Alicante Bouschet and White castas Rabo de Ovelha, Moscatel Graudo, Perrum, Roupeiro and Arinto. In 2005, Portugal was the seventh largest exporter of wine in the world.

Why are Algarve wines so great? Part of the resort is because of the warm Mediterranean climate and long periods of sunshine which cause the grapes to become sweet and fruity. Also, the backdrop of the Caldeirao and Monchique Mountain ranges create a barrier from any harsh winds from the north, establishing an ideal microclimate for wine growing. Another factor is the stony, dry sandstone soil within this region. The conditions here result in a wine which is fruity, sweet, less acidic and high in alcohol.

If you would like to sample the delicious wine that the Algarve has to offer, be sure to visit some of the local vineyards during your holiday at Vale do Lobo villas. There are many vineyards throughout the region and if you don’t have someone to act as your designated driver you can even take a wine tour throughout the region. Take it slow and allow lots of time to enjoy each vineyard, as the beautiful countryside of the Algarve moves at a slow and peaceful place and you will want to leisurely sip and enjoy each fine wine.
Here are a few of the best wineries that you can visit during your travels in the Algarve:
  • Quinta dos Vales – This lovely winery is only a 10 minute drive from Portimao and is situated on a sprawling 500,000 sqm historic estate. Some of the wines produced here are winners of international awards and you will be welcomed into the recently renovated tasting room to enjoy them.
  • Adega do Cantor – The name of this winery means “Winery of the Singer” and the wines made here are so full of flavour that they will make you want to sing. They offer guided tours of their vineyards and winery so that you can see the way that they combine traditional and innovative winemaking techniques.
  • Quinta do Frances – This lovely winery is located near the historic medieval village of Silves and it is over for visits to the vineyards and the winery. It also sells other regional Algarve products in its shop. In the summer months from June to September the vineyard is open every day, but during the rest of the year it is closed on Sunday.
These are just a few examples, as there are many different wineries and vineyards which are worth visiting throughout the Algarve. When you are booking your holidays at Vale do Lobo villas, look for winery tours which are offered in the nearby region. Going on a winery tour means that you will not have to worry about how to get between each vineyard and you can sample wines to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of your favourite wine home with you so that you can savour the flavour of the Algarve long after your holiday is over.

Steven Capocci is a freelance writer who also writes a blog about the best wine destinations throughout Europe. He recently returned from a trip to Vale do Lobo villas where he tasted a cheeky amount of the best Portuguese wines on offer.


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