Portugal is finally getting the well-deserved recognition throughout the world as one of the best travel destinations and part of it has to do with its wine, which also makes it the new most wanted wine destination. This article focuses on an Algarve Wine Tour, the best way to get to know this heavenly region.
Portugal's awareness as a top travel destination continues raising worldwide. Its natural beauty, gastronomy, wine, and friendly welcoming people are no longer unnoticed to world travelers and the countless tourism awards and media recognition come to prove it.
The best way to explore and to get to know a country is through its food and wine along with its heritage. This article seeks to gather all these ingredients that will certainly provide you a truly authentic and genuine visit to Portugal. We take you to gastronomic experiences, dream resorts, and breathtaking landscapes on one of the best tours in Portugal.
This article comes in the sequence of the Best Wine Tours in Portugal article that focuses on some of Portugal's most famous wine regions. This time, we take you to the Algarve region.
Where is it?
The Algarve region is the southernmost region of continental Portugal and the Algarve region is confined north by the Alentejo, south, and west by the Atlantic Ocean, and east by the Guadiana River that marks the borderline with Spain. It's mostly known for its high quality and safe golden sand beaches and warm, but refreshing, calm blue waters. But there's more. The aromas and flavors of the traditional cuisine, beach terraces with stunning views, refined Michelin-starred restaurants, a varied array of hotels and resorts, some of the world's best golf courses, and wine cellars offering great wines are also part of the attributes that make the Algarve Portugal’s most popular region for holiday-makers.
What wines is it best known for?
This is an area with a very specific climate: it is near the sea, but also suffers the influence of the mountains of Espinhaço de Cão, Caldeirão, and Monchique (almost continuous mountain chain, that runs through the region, from the Spanish border to the Atlantic coast). The southern location and the mountain barrier that protects it from the cold north winds ensure a dry climate, hot and with little wind.
The region is demarcated since 1980, but only in recent years started to revitalize its wine sector. It began by replanting varieties of grapes, modernizing wineries, and new methods of producing wine have been practiced.
The Algarve region, due to the typicality that the soil conditions (sandy clay and shale) and climate give to the wines, originated four Designations of Origin: Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa, and Tavira. However, most of the wine produced is part of the designation "regional wine of Algarve".
The red varieties are the traditional Castelão and Negra Mole and the white varieties are Arinto and Síria. The Syrah was one of the varieties used in the replanting of the vineyards and demonstrated complete adaptability to the climate of the region, therefore, it has been widely planted by farmers. Both the red and the white wines are characterized by very ripe fruit, velvety and warm flavors. The wines of this region have high alcohol content.
Algarve wines offer high standard quality and, with the recent resurgence of local wineries, many excellent wines have been produced and have even been nationally and internationally acclaimed.
The wine region of the Algarve is just now approaching the age of majority, so the planting and care conditions for the vines are similar to the most modern used in the rest of the wine world. In the same way, almost all of Algarve's wineries are equipped with the most advanced technological solutions for wine production.
Algarve doesn't benefit from a huge amount of wine cellars nor wineries as other famous wine-producing regions of Portugal do, such as the Douro and Alentejo, but the ones that exist are unmissable, unique, and well worth a visit.
Quinta dos Vales Wine Estate
At Quinta do Vales, the vineyards are planted in 18.36 hectares, and the first plantations date back to 1998. Since its beginning, Quinta dos Vales strives for its innovation and the constant search for quality.
This pursuit made Quinta won numerous national and international awards.
The Quinta dos Vales cellar was fully renovated in 2007 and is equipped with the most advanced winemaking technology. The wines that are born in the cellar go then to the aging cellar where they will mature in the best French oak barrels.
Vila Vita Parc Wine Cellar
Surrounded by 22 ha. (54 ac.) of a magnificent subtropical park, this is a 5-star retreat that welcomes guests with customized service and true Portuguese hospitality, offering a whole world of experiences.
The endless views over the horizon blend with the lush green colors of the gardens and the shimming blue of the Atlantic Ocean, revealing lively colors and filling the air with the sounds and scents of the sunny days spent at the beach.
The gothic-style wine cellars located 8 meters (26 ft.) below ground, were built with bricks made in Egypt, Austria, and Greece more than 150 years ago. The cellar houses 11,000 bottles of wine from all around the world which are kept with all the Sommelier's attention and affection.
How to see it for yourself
Premium Tour Algarve - 3-day experience from €600 per person
As we said above, the Algarve is one of the most sought regions in the country due to its famous beaches, excellent gastronomy, and its great wine. So, what better way to explore it than through a wine tour? This Algarve wine tour is an invitation for those who appreciate the good things in life although don’t have much time to discover this beautiful destination. We gathered the best Algarve has to offer in this short break where you'll have the possibility to visit one of the most famous Wine Estates, the heritage of one of the most important cities from the Algarve, to enjoy its marvelous landscapes aboard a luxurious Yacht and to dive into its warm, calm and blue waters.
This tour includes a private driver and guides for its entire duration. You'll be picked up at the Faro airport and dropped off at the luxurious Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa Hotels where you can rest and explore the facilities.
On the second day, after having your batteries recharged with a delicious breakfast, we'll take you for a visit to the heritage of the city of Silves, the oldest city in the Algarve, where you'll discover the Castle of Silves, the cathedral, and the Archeology Museum that displays objects with 8.000 years of History.
In halfway to Silves, you will have the opportunity to participate in a wine tasting of the international well-renowned wines of the famous Quinta dos Vales, where you can also visit the interesting sculptures in its gardens and vineyard.
During the afternoon, you will discover the picturesque fisherman village of Carvoeiro, where you can enjoy the sun and the amazing beaches. In the end of the afternoon, you will have an excellent meal, paired with a renowned wine list, in the charming Ocean restaurant, owner of a Michelin Star.
On the third day, right after breakfast at the hotel, we'll take on a luxurious Yacht Cruise for 4 Hours. This cruise includes a light meal with regional products and visits the famous Algarve’s caves and their breathtaking landscapes.
This tour was designed for a short break but you can always add more days to your Algarve wine tour. You can also book tours to other regions of Portugal.
For more tour and experiences options in Portugal, please visit www.winetourismportugal.com.