Are you a wine lover visiting Portugal? Be sure to not miss out on these 8 best wine regions of Portugal on your next visit and sample some of Portugal’s finest wines!
Wherever you are in Portugal, you’re never too far from vineyards and local wine producers. The entire country is divided into 14 wine regions, each one distinctly different from the other and specialising in a variety of styles and grapes.
Of course, the Douro Valley is the most renowned wine region in Portugal, known for its gorgeous rolling hills and stunning natural beauty. But, the country has a plethora of other amazing areas covering most of Portugal and that wine aficionados will take immense pleasure in.
Portugal’s wine regions have more to offer than just wine and are considered some of the best European wine regions too! Here, I list the top 8 regions for exploring the wines of Portugal while soaking up the scenery and cultural sites too!
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Top Portuguese Wine Regions
Wine Regions in Portugal – The Douro Valley
The oldest wine region in the world, the Douro Valley, is an enchanting and mystical place. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the home of Port Wine and is globally recognized as an iconic region of wine production.
The valley region is bordered by a long mountain range with steep slopes dipping down to meet the Douro River. These geographical features create a perfect climate to produce unique wines such as full-bodied reds and crisp light-bodied whites.
The wild, untamed region, with vine terraces lining the slopes, and dramatic scenery is a paradise for grape lovers.
Porto is an unmissable destination in this region and is packed with amazing things to do, see… and eat. The city sits on the River Douro and is full of character and authentic Portuguese culture.
You can explore the wine cellars and sip on Port Wine in the city, or head out on a full day Douro Valley wine tour – river cruise and wine tasting included.
This is the biggest wine region in Portugal, sitting below the border of Spain, stretching to the Atlantic Ocean and encompassing Porto city. The wet climate contributes to the lush landscapes that reach down to the sea.
Vinho Verde wine is light and fruity, perfect for a sunny day. I recommend heading to Minho province to follow the Green Wine Trail from one spectacular vineyard to the next. It is the ideal place to test out world-class ‘green wines’ and the historic sites and quaint towns are an added bonus.
Although Vinho Verde means ‘green wine’, you don’t have to worry about drinking a grass-coloured drink. This type of Portuguese wine comprises red, white and rosé.
It is referred to as green because this type of wine should be consumed within the first few years after production. Which is brilliant for people that have little patience for ageing vinho and are keen to dive right into the deliciousness.
If you’re based in Porto, book a wine tasting tour in Minho. It is a blissful way to spend the day sampling some of the best of Portugal’s wines.
This wine region is an important historical site. It was once a battleground for the fights between Christians and Arabs when Portugal was a kingdom and Coimbra its capital. It is the ideal spot to soak up some history while discovering some tasty Portuguese wines.
Bairrada is a unique wine-producing region as it boasts local and international grape varieties. The best part about visiting Bairrada is that the area is not only famous for wine but for world-class local gastronomy too. What could be better than pairing rich, local wines with scrumptious traditional food?
Besides being a vineyard haven, the area has a couple of awesome attractions to explore after a day of wine tasting.
The Aliança Underground Museum is a fascinating amalgamation of art and wine and a must-see attraction in Bairrada. Here you can discover Portuguese heritage and culture as well as historical artefacts dating back millions of years.
Portugal Wine Regions – Lisbon
Surprisingly, the capital city, and its surrounding areas, is the second-largest producer of Portugal’s wine. Greater Lisbon comprises nine wine-producing sub-regions, each one different from the next.
Spending a few days in Lisbon is a no-brainer if you’re visiting Portugal. The city is charming and full of character. Colourful street art, steep cobbled streets and old-fashioned trams are just a few of its delightful features.
And as if it couldn’t get any better, you can indulge in the Lisboa wine region and the inexpensive wine ‘vinho da mesa.’
I recommend visiting the sub-region of Colares which is located in the stunning Sintra-Cascais natural park. The old castles of Sintra are nothing short of a fairytale and the coastline is dotted with quaint fishing villages.
It is a small area of vineyards, with the vines grown out of the sand. It’s an unusual site but the proof is in the grape – which you’ll no doubt enjoy.
On a full day Sintra tour from Lisbon, you’ll get to visit grand castles, explore the Cascais mountains and the wine cellars of Adega Regional de Colares.
This tropical island has incredible scenery, fantastic weather, amazing food and of course, wine. Madeira wine is close behind Port wine as the second most iconic fortified wine in Portugal.
During a trip to the island, you can learn about the interesting and unusual process of making Madeira wine. The wine is kept in steel barrels for three months at a temperature of 40 – 50 degrees Celsius. These are artificially heated to speed up the process.
However, the highest quality wines are heated naturally in the sun and can be left untouched for up to 100 years!
One of my favourite spots to learn about and taste the finest Madeira wine is Blandy’s Wine Lodge. The lodge offers tours of the winemaking process and an immersive experience in the production method. But you can also head straight to the bar and sample the delectable end product.
Delicious fortified wine, pristine beaches and volcanic mountains. Have you added Madeira to your Portugal itinerary?
Algarve Wine Region
By Erin from Pina Travels
The Algarve is the sunniest part of Portugal, known for its beautiful coastal beaches and ocean access. Thanks to the area’s temperate climate year-round, it’s also an ideal region for growing grapes. Across the Algarve, there are four distinct DOCs (areas with protected designation of origin): Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira.
Although both white and red wines are produced in Algarve, the region is best known for its red wines. Siria, arinto, and malvasia fina are the grape varietals most often used in whites, while negra mole, trincadeira, and castelão are the grapes that are preferred for Algarve’s reds.
Throughout the Algarve, there are over 2,000 vineyards as well as 30 wine producers. Many of the wineries are easily accessible by car or by tour and offer guided vineyard tours and tastings.
The best part? There’s an Algarve wine trail that runs parallel to the coast, taking you to many of the region’s best wineries. From Lagos to Albufeira, the trail brings you to wineries where you can try reds, whites, and even green wines (young, Portuguese wine that originated in the historic Minho province).
Visiting a winery is an exciting thing to do in Algarve. Stop by Quinta do Francês, a small winery near Portimao, which is known for its premium wines. And, drop by Quinta dos Vales, also near Portimao, which is a family-run winery that’s won “Best Wine of the Algarve” many times!
Dão wine region of Portugal
By Maya & Sari from Chasing Lenscapes
Dão wine region of Portugal is not the first name to come to mind when thinking about famous Portuguese wine regions but it is one of the best-hidden gems in Portugal. It is located in the north part of the Central Portugal region, about 120 kilometres south-east of Porto, near the city of Viseu.
Similarly to the Douro Valley, the Dão region is classified as a DOC wine region and its wine cultivation history goes back to the Romans times. Dão Valley is surrounded by mountains on three sides, as a result, the vineyards are protected from harsh weather. The combination of a mild climate with plenty of sun and rainy winters with good soil (mainly granite terroir) provides excellent conditions for wine cultivation.
The local wine-growers have traditionally focused more on producing red wine but in recent years the region’s whites, rosés and sparkling wines have started to get more attention.
One of the best places to visit in the Dão region is the picturesque village of Santar where you’ll find the Santar Vila Jardim and numerous vineyards in the area. You can book a tour of Santar Vila Jardim’s marvellous gardens (which includes vineyards) combined with wine tasting at the historic villa. You can also visit Paço Dos Cunhas De Santar, for a culinary experience and enjoy wine tasting and a visit to Adegas da Casa de Santar’s cellars.
Any wine lover would enjoy a visit to the picturesque Dão Valley in Central Portugal, especially if you love red wines and prefer smaller and family-owned wineries. Dão Valley’s location makes it the perfect place to visit on your road trip from Lisbon to Porto or as a day trip from Porto.
Alentejo – Best Wine Regions of Portugal
By Alya of The Algarve Family
Alentejo is a beautiful wine region in southern Portugal that borders the Algarve in the south, Spain in the east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Alentejo produces some of the finest wines in Portugal. The New York Times named Alentejo “the new Tuscany”.
The region is home to local and foreign cultivars. The Portuguese varieties include the Portuguese varietals such as Castelão, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional among the reds and Antão Vaz, Arinto, Fernão Pires among the whites. Spanish Aragones or Tempranillo is the most planted grape in the region. One of the main characteristics of the Alentejo wines is full-body and fruit-forward. They are often referred to as “New World” wines in style.
According to the geographical location, Alentejo can be divided into Upper Alentejo Region and Lower Alentejo Regions. Both areas produce excellent wines. The Upper Alentejo is just a 1-hour drive from Lisbon. It’s a perfect place for a day trip from the capital or a weekend getaway.
Évora, the capital city of the region, is a perfect place to stay for a day or two. Herdade do Esporão and Adega Vila Santa are two beautiful wine estates to visit in the area. Herdade do Esporao is a family-owned estate that was established as a winery in the 13th century. Adega Vila Santa is run by one of the best Portuguese winemakers João Portugal Ramos. Both estates offer wine tasting and dining experiences.
Wineries in the Lower Alentejo region can be visited as a day trip from the Algarve. Beja is the main town in the area. Herdade de Sobroso is a perfect place to taste local wines and traditional Alentejo cuisine. Herdade dos Grous is another great wine estate to visit in Lower Alentejo; their reds are known for having great ageing potential.
Portugal Wine Map
Portugal Wine region map by Wines of Portugal.