Alentejo: the region of hot red wines in Portugal | Wine


Scorching summers see temperatures rise to over 100 degrees, resulting in a slower pace of life and honorable traditions. Locals hold on to their rich heritage passed down from generation to generation – timeless traditions such as the weaving of hand-made rugs and embroidery, and the century-old work of harvesting cork from trees using a single hammer. Almost 60% of the world’s cork production comes from Portuguese forests, mainly Alentejo.

“Rural and rustic but with style and substance, the warm and generous reds of Alentejo are very similar to its inhabitants,” writes Sarah Ahmed, Portuguese wine consultant and known as “The Wine Detective” at Decanter .

The region has its own DOP (Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas), similar to French appellations. The wine is regulated to quality standards and in accordance with specific laws of the European Union.

Despite its relatively small size, Portugal encompasses a wide range of climates. The portfolio of grape varieties, many of which are indigenous to Portugal’s many microclimates and soil types, numbers up to 250.

The Alentejo consumes over 50,000 acres of wine-growing space, an area larger than the Napa Valley, at nearly 45,000 acres. With over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, the climate is similar to that of mainland Greece.

Over the past 20 years, Alentejo has almost quadrupled its wine production.


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