Introduction

By Paul Caputo

Alentejo is one of the biggest wine regions in Portugal, making up almost a third of the country. Known for their big, rich and almost hedonstic levels of fruit and oak, the wines are incredibly popular throughout Portugal and the region benefits from a substantial market share.

Much of the region is characterised by moderate hillsides, a sort of gentle patchwork of rolling vineyards. Towards the North East however, close to the Spanish border, the São Mamede mountains emerge to create a slightly different microclimate. Here the wines are slightly fresher, benefiting from higher altitude.

To the north of the region the terrain changes slightly. Altitude rises towards 300 metres making the town of Portoallegre one of the most desirable towns to purchase grapes from. The larger fluctuations between night and day temperatures mean those purchasing grapes are often desperate to find material with more freshness and acidity and depending on the variety some aromatic character.

Appellations of Alentejo

Alentejo VR

Altentejo is the catch all regional appellation for wine made in the Alentejo.

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Alentejo DOC

Alentejo DOC is often the top expression of wines from the Alentejo region. The best are full bodied, incredibly aromatic, soft and smooth with an uncanny ability to be enjoyed young or indeed improve with age.

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