Better known for its 300 days of sun and gorgeous coastline, the Algarve region of Portugal is home to around thirty vineyards. We visited three of this often-overlooked wine region’s award-winning wineries: one for the art-lover, one for the land-loving gourmand, and one for the history-lover. Each is within an easy drive of Albufeira, a popular coastline destination full of restaurants to fall in love with. Which one should you add to your vacation itinerary?
At all three wineries, the tasting included three wines: a rosé, a white, and a red. While they varied in taste from one location to the next, we enjoyed them all. Due to the climate, the Algarve is known for lighter wines that pair well with summer days.
For art, wine, and views:
Quinta Dos Vales is a 44-hectare estate with over one hundred works of art created, most by the vineyard’s owner, Karl Heinz Stock. As you sip wine and look out to the garden beyond, you’ll see his Graces, sculptures of voluptuous women. Look to the rafters of the shaded terrace to admire an elephant sculpture or two. When you go into the shop to purchase a bottle, you’ll get a chance to encounter more stunning pieces. Even the wine labels are inspired by Stock’s magnificent work.
In addition to wine tastings and tours, you can blend your own bottle in a workshop or give winemaking a try by purchasing a parcel on the vineyard and cultivating a wine all your own. We feel quite tempted to attempt both.
To book a tasting click here.
To picnic under an ancient olive tree:
Visit Morgado do Quintão to sip wine and taste tapas under an extraordinary 1,000-plus-year-old olive tree. Some say it may even be 2,000 years old. On this vineyard, the connection between food, wine, and land is palpable. While there, in addition to olive trees, you can admire the fig trees, almond trees, and, of course, the grape vines.
Morgado Do Quintão is the longest-running vineyard that we visited. It’s been in the same family since the early 1800s when it was founded by the Count of Silves. In addition to wine tastings, they offer lunches, dinners, oysters with sparkling wine at sunset, and cooking workshops.
If, like me, you have a food allergy, breathe easy knowing that the online booking form asks if any member of your party has food allergies and what they are. When we sipped wine and tasted tapas, they provided me with my own food-allergen-free tapas.
To book a tasting, click here.
To become enchanted by history and wine:
For history lovers, we recommend planning a full-day trip to Silves and ending it at Adega Convento do Paraiso within the Quinta de Mata Mouros. The winery is a historical site within its own right that happens to host a delicious wine tasting.
Start at Sé Catedral de Silves. Visit Portugal calls it the most important Gothic building in the Algarve, and it is gorgeous! Built in the 13th century, it only required some repairs after the 1755 earthquake.
From there, walk to Castelo de Silves (Silves Castle). It’s basically next door. Stroll along its patrol route to take in the remarkable views of the city and valley surrounding this castle on the hill. Built between the 8th and 13th centuries by the Moors and rebuilt again in the 13th century after it was taken from the Moors, Silves Castle is said to be the best example of military architecture in Portugal.
Onto Convento do Paraiso, which gets its name from Convento de Nossa Senhora do Paraíso, a decommissioned convent founded in the 15th century where the vineyard is partially situated. The Quinta de Mata Mouros that it’s located within connects it to Silves Castle and the story of Moors escaping the Christian reconquest.
To book a tasting, click here.
Want to see what it’s like to visit the vineyards and taste their wines? Check out our What’s with Portugal’s Algarve wines? video.
For more information on wine tours that you can take in the Algarve, check out the Algarve Wine Tourism site.
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