Alentejo, a region of Portugal, has a long history of winemaking – said to be 4,000 years – but historians note that there’s evidence that it was probably underway when the Romans arrived and history is said to show that the country’s first wine varieties were of Mediterranean origin and were introduced there.
That being said, wines from the region of Alentejo today may be found in eight sub-regions of the Alentejo. Red grape varieties include Alfrocheiro, Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castelao, Syrah, Touriga Nacional (a variety that has flourished for generations and is known widely beyond the country), and Trincadeira. White varieties include Antao Vaz, Arinto, Fernao Pires, Gouveio and Roupeiro.
There’s rich diversity in the wines of Portugal, said to rank 11th in the world in total wine production per capita, and Portuguese wine tourism is growing. Alentejo is known for reds (78.9 percent), whites (19.7 percent) and rosado (1.4 percent).
From Monte da Ravasqueira’s Selecao do Ano Branco with a suggested retail price of $8.99 to Adega do Monte Braco’s Monte Branco Tinto at $49, there is something for everyone among the wines of this region.
Today, Portugal has 250 indigenous grape varieties and has become a place to go as well as a leader in sustainability. Alentejo alone, encompassing more than a third of the country’s landmass, has eight PDO wine regions, growing grapes in a climate of hot days and cool nights. For more information, visit http://www.vinhosdoalentejo.pt.