Though the Alentejo takes up a full one-third of the land mass of Portugal, the heat and arid conditions have traditionally meant that the region’s strongest link to quality wine was through its cork trees. Not any more though. The region is now ‘being touted as the new Tuscany’ (according to the Guardian) with the wine just as important to that comparison as the food and stunning scenery. And nowhere more than the Alto Alentejo area, where we’re kicking off our wine and food tours.
The best wines of the Alto Alentejo take advantage of a number of factors unique to the area: high altitude (some of the vineyards we visit are within touching distance of the highest point in southern Portugal), schist and granite soils, and old field-blend vines (rare in this part of the world), to offer wines of real freshness, elegance and deep concentration of flavour. And what’s more, they remain relatively undiscovered and are thus absolute bargains (especially when compared with Tuscany!)