Top Portuguese Wine Regions
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. Here, I list the top 5 regions for exploring the wines of Portugal while soaking up the scenery and cultural sites too!
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?
Portugal Wine Map
Portugal Wine region map by Wines of Portugal.