Why the Algarve?
The transcendent beauty of the Algarve offers much more than sea and breath-taking beaches. A countryside full with green fields and majestic hills hide gorgeous landscapes that will make you fall in love with the region.
It is in the midst of these natural wonders that 2000 vineyards and almost 30 wine producers thrive in a rain-free environment (the Algarve has more than 300 sunny days a year) and a fertile soil. Combining the excellent wine supply with the tourism industry of one of the most visited regions in Europe every year, wine-tourism emerged – the appreciation of the flavour and aroma of wines of a region together with the immersion in its traditions and cultures. This article aims to suggest a wine route where you can taste the best Algarve wines and at the same time be able to enjoy the beaches, walks, mountain biking, golf courses or nature observation that are part of the range of activities that can be found here in the Algarve.
Which wineries and vineyards to visit in the Algarve?
Quinta dos Vales
The beautiful Quinta dos Vales is situated in the western part of the Algarve region. With an award-winning wine cellar, a landscaped garden decorated with art sculptures, a panoramic terrace, and offering complete accommodation with terraces and a large outdoor swimming pool, this wine estate brings together in one place the wonders of the Algarve nature and a superior quality of wines. Fifteen different grape varieties are planted in the vineyard, resulting in a wide range of red, white and rosé wines, which you will be able to taste when you participate in the Quinta dos Vales wine tasting. The estate also includes activities such as hiking, swimming and cycling.
Quinta do Francês
Quinta do Francês belongs to a French doctor who fell in love with Portugal and saw in the hills of Serra de Monchique the place with which he had always dreamt to start the production of his own wines. With the help of his wife, he planted eight hectares of grapes and, in 2006, the harvest allowed for the first 5,000 bottles. Currently the vineyard visitors can see the cellars and taste 3 wines, accompanied by traditional snacks, for only €8 per person meaning its also great value.
Adega do Cantor
“The Winery of the Singer”, named for being owned by musician Cliff Richards, brings together the grapes from three farms – that of Moinho, Miradouro and Vale do Sobreiro – to produce two types of wines: Vida Nova and the Onda Nova. Since 2001 almost 100,000 bottles per year have been made. Visit the cellar full of casks for the wine-tasting and stroll through the magnificent grape plantations to feel the relaxing mood of the place.
Monte da Casteleja
After working in Rio Douro, where he was responsible for the organisation of the technical team that took care of the worldwide famous Port Wine, spending time at Montez Champallimaud Lda and Quinta do Tedo, Guillaume Leroux decided to plant 3 hectares of grapes in the Algarve to start his own wine production. At the vineyard you can do guided tours and wine tasting with the wine producer himself every Wednesday and Friday from 3pm. This visits are the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the Monte da Casteleja project. There is also the possibility of only doing the wine tasting, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3pm and 5pm, for 10€ per person. In the Monte da Casteleja vineyard there is also agro-tourism, which means you can stay accommodated in this charming place, where the peacefulness of the place and absence of television provide the most relaxing times among nature.
Quinta da Tôr
Renewed in 2011, Quinta da Tôr, located in the charming little village of Tôr, intends to divulge Algarve’s products and in particular the regional wines of the Algarve. To do so, the vineyard has 7 grape varieties planted along 47 hectares, leading to an annual output of 100,000 bottles. Take a guided tour through Quinta da Tôr, where you can learn more about wine production processes and get to taste the various Quinta da Tôr wines such as Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Algibre or Branco.
Quinta de Mata-Mouros
In the 12th century, after the conquest of Silves, the Convento de Nossa Senhora do Paraíso was built on site of the vineyard, which lasted until the 19th century, and with the main structure still being preserved to this day. It was in this place of legends and myths, on the left bank of Rio Arade, where the “Convento do Paraíso” project started, with the intention of producing wine and taking advantage of the area’s unique and fantastic conditions. The 12 hectare vineyard is watched over closely by experienced and dedicated winemaking teams, which later translates to superior quality wines such as: Euphoria Tinto, Euphoria Rosé, Euphoria Branco, Convento do Paraíso Tinto and Imprevisto Tinto. You will have the opportunity to enjoy these wines in a wine tasting at Quinta de Mata-Mouros.
Quinta do Morgado da Torre
It is at Quinta do Morgado da Torre, in Portimão, that the superb Alvor wines are produced. The winery, which has existed since 1999, is facing south, to protect itself from the north winds, while benefiting from the sea breeze, something which helps improve the quality of the grapes. Manually selected grapes give rise to fruity wines with structure and good aromas, among which are: Arinto, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscatel Galego and Syria, Syrah and Antão Vaz. Take a guided tour through the wine cellar, where you can also do a wine tasting.
Cabrita Wines – Quinta da Vinha
The owner of Quinta da Vinha and the winemakers with whom he works are completely devoted to the exclusively Portuguese grapes that are planted in the vineyard, something that is reflected in the flavour and aroma of the famous Cabrita wines. Although the first harvest dates back to 2007, when 11,300 and 3,000 bottles of Cabrita red and rosé were produced, wine has long run in the veins of the Cabrita family, with the first home-grown production dating back to 1977.