The district of Lisbon has always been present in the history of wine culture of Portugal. Much of the production of white wines of Bucelas (Denomination of Origin region from 1911 until today) regularly travelled to English court.
In Colares (near Sintra), there are the country’s oldest vines. After several decades falling into oblivion, the Adega Cooperativa de Colares has developed and boosted its production. Here there are produced “crianzas” (4 years required), open coloured and approximately 12.5% alcohol content. The main grapes are Ramisco, in red wines, and the delicate Malvasia, in white wines. Anyone who has had the opportunity to taste the wines from this area certainly have noticed that they are a little jewel in terms of body and very special aroma.
Another wine region that shares territory with the Tagus river is Ribatejo, known for its generous wine production for the domestic market, thanks to large areas of flat terrain and temperate climate, which once supplied the Portuguese colonies in Africa.
From the 80s the Ribatejo vineyards have undergone major restructuring, coming from its cellars themselves, now with stainless steel tanks -before concrete-, oak barrels for aged wines, and even the production legislation of regional wines, which allows the use of strains not admitted by the DO, which consequently opens a wide range of possibilities to create new wines.
The traditional strains are many: Periquita and Castelão Nacional are the queens of the reds, while for the whites they usually use Fernão Pires and Arinto, among others. But the vineyard restructuring has allowed the introduction of international strains such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah, with excellent results. Their white wines are fruity and with floral aromas, and reds are aromatic with soft tannins.
Also in Lisbon there is a great wine production with the strain Periquita, in addition to Touriga Nacional and others. The Lourinhã region develops excellent aged spirits and just off, in Óbidos (Leiria district) they produce a very aromatic liqueur, garnet red, called Ginginha de Óbidos, and some varieties have aromas of cinnamon or vanilla. Carcavelos wines, the smallest Portuguese wine region, are syrupy, age very well and have a topaz colour and aroma of almonds.
Arruda dos Vinhos – Lisbon (also called “Ruta de vinos” or wine route) produce some of the best wines in the region, maintaining its quality for over 50 years. The reds are robust, garnet red and whites are light, straw or citrine coloured.
Since the choice is difficult… our recommendations for today are more than two : )
From the Lisbon district:
From Ribatejo we offer a white wine and a red wine. The first is the result of the union between the traditional Fernão Pires with Sauvignon Blanc; the second is born from Touriga Nacional and Syrah.
Chocapalha 2010: a red wine with this DO: Lisbon with a blend based on the 2010 grapes and 13º of alcohol strength.
Casal Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2014: a white wine Lisbon based on sauvignon blanc of 2014 and has a volume of alcohol of 13º.
*Article originally published by Rita Bonet at O Blog de Uvinum