The three regions listed below are all located
around the capital Lisbon. Bucelas is to the north-east, Carcavelos
to the west along the Tagus estuary, and Colares to the north-west
past the town of Sintra.
The region of Bucelas that lies within the south Estremadura district
produces some very good white wines as the "Arinto" grape
grows well on this soil. This is probably the area from which the wine
"Charneco" originated that was consumed in England in the
14th Century. Today, the wine is greenish straw-coloured with a perfumed
nose and slightly acid and dry. Labels of interest are Bucelas, Morgado
de Santa Catherina, Prova Régia, Quinta de Avelar and Quinta da Murta.
This small region lies to the east of Lisbon on the mouth of the River Tagus
and covers part of the municipalities of both Cascais and Oeiras. It
produces a fortified wine known as “Vinho Generoso”. The Carcavelos wine is
linked with history since the 18th Century when the Marquês de Pombal once
owned this once large vineyard and its winery. The wine is high in alcohol
content, topaz-coloured with a nutty aroma and slightly dry. It was popular
with the Duke of Wellington’s officers during the Peninsular War. On record
is the high price fetched for this wine at Christie’s auction in London in
1769. The labels are Carcavelos and Quinta de Cima.
The region of Colares is famous for its “Ramisco” vines that are
planted in deep trenches that are dug out of the sandy dunes to protect
them from the Atlantic winds. The region covers the municipalities of
Colares, São Martinho and São João das Lapas. This full-blooded red wine
has so much tannin that it becomes very dry in taste. The white wine is
fresh, fruity and aromatic that develops with age. Labels to try are
Arenei, Colares Chitas, and Colares Reserva.