Traveling through Portugal enriches the soul on so many different levels. Steeped in history and blessed with natural beauty, Portugal packs a big punch for such a small nation – which is why it attracts millions of tourists every year. People come from all over Europe (and around the world) to explore its medieval castles, golden beaches and soulful food & wine.
One of the most underrated aspects about Portugal is the wine. This is the eleventh largest wine producing area in the world – quite the achievement when you consider the size of the countries in the top ten (USA, Argentina, France, etc). Some vineyards in Portugal date back as far as 4,000 years with ancient techniques that have delighted the palate for centuries.
Port is known internationally but the varieties of wine here go beyond the famous red from Douro. Two other native wines that travelers should try are Castelao (red wine) and Fernao Pires (white wine). These tasty vintages can be found throughout the country and some bottles only set you back €10 or €20. This is a testament to the affordability of Portugal as a whole.
A great way to sample various labels is to join a wine tour from Portugal Farm Experience. Their trips take you into the agricultural heartland where traditions have been passed down through the generations. While tasting wine and pairing it with local food, guests can discover the time-tested methods and tactics that turn grapes into world-class wines.
Best Wine Tours in Portugal
1. Evora Wine Tasting Tour (1 Hour)
Located 30 minutes from Evora, the town of Estremoz is characterized by white buildings spread out across a hilly terrain. The town’s centerpiece is the “Castelo de Estremoz” which boasts incredible towers and fortress walls. Estremoz is famous for having deposits of white marble. Historically, 90% of Portugal’s white marble has been exported from this area.
Another reason to visit is the handful of amazing vineyards nestled in the surrounding green landscapes. On this Evora Wine Tasting Tour with Portugal Farm Experience, guests will tour a local vineyard and taste their wines that have been cultivated since 1922. A producer will lead the group on a wine tasting tour where red and whites are paired with regional foods.
2. Tapas with Wine Tour – Estremoz (2 Hours)
Tapas-lovers will relish this two hour experience at a winery in Estremoz. Try some delicious appetizers such as toasted bread with olive oil, codfish with grain, slices of local cheese, a selection of cured meats and pate flavors that come from Alentejo. The wines served alongside these snacks are Marques de Borba (white) and Marques de Borba Vinhas Velhas (red).
The Tapas with Wine Tour takes guests behind the scenes of a winery and cellar, and gives them an introduction on how traditional Alentejo wine is produced. All tapas on this tour are also typical of the Alentejo region of Portugal. Groups of between two and 20 people can be accommodated for, so bring your friends along for a finger-licking experience in Estremoz.
3. Lisbon Wine Tasting Tour (2 Hours)
Set less than an hour from Lisbon in the municipality of Bombarral, this two hour wine tasting experience transports travelers to a prestigious farm where local wines have been produced by a family for four generations. Originating in the 19th century, the farm has recently seen some modernization in order to keep up with the demands of today’s consumer.
Enjoy sipping on six different wines on the Lisbon Wine Tasting Tour as you tour around the vineyards and old distilleries, see the pressing room and check out the room of aging cellar wines. Groups of two can be catered for all the way up to parties of 40. Starting at just €40 per person, is there a better way to taste Portuguese wines at an affordable price?
4. Pairing Food & Wine Tour – Torres Vedras (2 Hours)
As the name suggests, the Pairing Food & Wine Tour has got you covered if you are looking for an exciting day excursion out of Lisbon. Located by the mountains and sea, the vineyard that you will visit sits in a cooler climate of Portugal where moderate temperatures and a cool ocean breeze are the norm. This makes the cultivation of certain white grape vines more feasible.
Included on this two hour tour are wine tastings of Dorys Harvest, Single Varieties and Reservas as well as some tasty tapas like couvert, Thai cod ceviche, aged beef pica pau and sweet bean pastries. Be welcomed by the friendly local producer who will show you around the winery and lead a fascinating workshop about the viticultural process from start to finish.
5. Picnic in the Vineyards Tour – Mafra (4 Hours)
The Picnic in the Vineyards Tour is a new tour developed by Portugal Farm Experience whereby guests partake in a full picnic hamper in a gorgeous vineyard setting. Traditional products are included such as pulled pork sandwiches, traditional tapas, Atlantic delicacies and fresh fruit. Relax on a summer’s day outside the city of Mafra on this wonderful day trip.
Mafra is 30 minutes from Lisbon and the closest town to the winery. Upon arrival, a personalized map is ready for your collection. Use it to search for the best picnic spots on the property. Find your favorite corner of the vineyard and sit down for a couple of hours in the sun trying delectable food. Finish off by wandering around other areas of the vineyard.
6. Premium Algarve Winemaker Experience (3 Hours)
The Algarve region in southern Portugal is home to golden beaches and epic coastal rock formations that make it one of the most popular spots during summer. While the beaches and fishing villages here are amazing, why not add something even more unique to your Algarve itinerary and book this three hour tour where you can make your own wine?
The Premium Algarve Winemaker Experience takes place in Lagoa and offers travelers the chance to visit a wine estate snuggled on the western coast of The Algarve. This 44-hectare estate is renowned for being one of the region’s top wineries with international acclaim. Try your hand at wine-making on a bottle-blending workshop led by a passionate winemaker.
Why Book a Wine Tour in Portugal?
Wine tours are a great way to get into the history, traditions and techniques that make Portuguese wine so fantastic. Adding a few of the experiences (mentioned above) to your itinerary will satisfy all your senses and allow you to meet local producers whose passion for wine is infectious. These tours are suited for everyone – from oenophile’s to casual drinkers.
Only by visiting a vineyard, and learning about the process of wine-making from beginning to end, can you truly appreciate what goes into creating each bottle. You will find out things like how the climate affects the grapes, how different ingredients are used to add flavor, and how wines are aged to improve over time. This creates a newfound respect for the industry.
It doesn’t matter which part of Portugal you travel to because each region has its own unique claim to fame when it comes to wine. Lisbon has affordable wines with strong reds from Alenquer, crisp whites from Torres Vedras and full-bodied whites from Colares. Alentejo, on the other hand, combines wine and food in a way that resembles the soul of Portugal.
Whether you are a couple visiting Portugal for a week, a group of friends exploring the country for a month from top to bottom, or a family with young children in need of a break from the hotel – the wine tours offered by Portugal Farm Experience can add a touch of flavor to your holiday. Get in touch with Francicsa & Estevao if you have any questions about their tours.