Which are the best vineyards and wineries to visit in the Algarve?
It may still be prime beach season, but for wine enthusiasts, the most exciting time of the year is just around the corner. (In fact, some hot-climate wineries are already picking grapes.) From the Algarve to the Douro Valley, many top wineries are planning special events, dinners and promotions to celebrate the harvest. And now that Portugal is fully embracing wine tourism, the offerings are better than ever. Here’s where to eat well, drink well, learn more about wine and watch the magic happen.
When it comes to the secret of the perfect ingredients for a wine, it amounts to a few essential elements – the right soil and climate (a combination defined in winemaking circles as 'terroir'), and a caring, responsible treatment by the wine grower .
The Algarve is enclosed in a natural amphitheater, which is protected from the northern winds by the Monchique mountain range, resulting in a unique climate characterized by an average of over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. The soil, dominated by lime and clay, forces the vines to root deeply, exactly what is required to grow grapes rich in the respective terroir-profile.
The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean ensures that even on the hottest summer days there is always a fresh breeze, which provides a natural ventilation and temperature control of the vines. In combination with the canopy control, the local wine growers can actually choose in which direction to take a specific wine. One option is to maximise solar exposure, which results in opulent and fruity wines, whereas maximizing shade and cool air circulation will result in fresher and more subtle wines.
These are just a few examples of vineyards worth visiting in the Algarve. Wine tourism in the region is growing, and there may be other emerging wineries to explore as well. It's recommended to check the websites or contact the vineyards directly for more information on visiting hours, guided tours, and tastings.
Vineyard & Winery: Quinta dos Vales wine tour
Located near Estômbar, Quinta dos Vales is a renowned winery and art estate. It offers wine tastings, guided tours, and a sculpture park where you can explore various art installations while enjoying their wines.
From vine to bottle their wine philosophy is based on quality, as opposed to quantity. They believe this is the reason why Quinta dos Vales has very quickly become the leading wine producer in the up-and-coming Algarvian wine industry.
Their approach is simple but straightforward. A good wine must have its origin in the vineyard as only perfect grapes will produce a real and natural wine. Insofar it is their main challenge to interact with all the infinitely variable and interconnected influences of soil minerals, sunlight, water, temperature, grape variety and the daily-changing responses of a living vine, balancing its fruit, leaves and roots. Natural systems are very complex and unpredictable, but once this is achieved, the work in the winery begins.
The work in the winery requires lots of technical skills, however, everything is based on the strict principle that their role is only to assist the grapes in developing their best potential. Additives are avoided wherever it is possible. They use modern technology to extract the best out of the grapes and convert them into the finest natural result that the respective varieties have to offer.
Vineyard & Winery: Adega do Cantour wine tour
Owned by the famous British musician Sir Cliff Richard, Adega do Cantor (Winery of the Singer) is situated near Albufeira. Very close to Villa Cascata! The vineyard produces a range of wines, including both red and white varieties. Visitors can take tours, sample wines, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
The Adega do Cantor is a 200 tonne boutique winery built to a bespoke design in collaboration with Castle Rock Logistics, a company specialising in winery design and project management and based in Western Australia. It took 18 months to design on computer and 10 months to build. The winery is modular in design in order to be easily expandable to its capacity of 300 tonnes.
Vineyard & Winery: Herdade dos Pimentéis wine tour
Situated in the eastern part of the Algarve near Tavira, Herdade dos Pimentéis is a family-owned estate that produces high-quality wines. They offer guided tours, wine tastings, and the opportunity to learn about the wine making process.
Occupying 38 hectares of the Morgado da Torre in Penina. On 17 of these hectares, the vines are grown using an integrated production system that respects all the norms of environmental protection. The excellent terroir, consisting of clay and limestone soil, is planted with the grape varieties Aragonez, Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trincadeira, Tinto Cão and White Moscatel, which benefit from long hours of sunshine and the sea breeze. This natural combination produces seven harmonious, fruity wines, which have structure and are rich in aromas: Herdade dos Pimenteis White, Herdade dos Pimenteis Rosé, Herdade dos Pimenteis Colheita Selecionada, Herdade dos Pimenteis Touriga Nacional and Herdade dos Pimenteis Reserva, Allmagarve Tinto and Allmagarve Branco. This is a family project which was started for the purpose of addressing the state of neglect of the Pimental family’s property. Having planted the vines in 2004, they developed a deep passion for wine-growing and wine under the guidance of oenologist Paulo Fonseca.
Vineyard & Winery: Quinta do Francês wine tour
Located near Silves, Quinta do Francês is a boutique winery known for its organic wines. They have vineyards spread across the Algarve region and offer wine tastings and tours to visitors.
They believe wines should be long lasting, great tasting and, above all, memorable.
With great wines, your senses, particularly smell and taste, should be called to attention
with excitement, anticipation and stimulation.
They understand great wines reflect their terroir, vintage and personality and have a level of quality that arises from a deep understanding of winemaking techniques and premium grapes.
Vineyard & Winery: Monte da Casteleja wine tour
Situated near Lagos, Monte da Casteleja is an organic vineyard known for its sustainable winemaking practices. They produce a range of wines, including red, white, and rosé varieties. Visitors can take tours, learn about organic winemaking, and taste their wines.
I always respect winemakers who go against the grain and are guided not by market trends but by their own philosophy and a desire to create wines with a difference. And the Monte da Casteleja organic winery near Lagos truly encapsulates this philosophy.
Franco-Portuguese winemaker Guillaume Leroux makes some of the most unusual wines in the Algarve, amongst them a remarkable full-bodied “orange” wine and one of my favourite rosés, a wine with real depth of flavour and structure. These are not wines that will appeal to everyone, but rather wines for wine-lovers who appreciate something different.
Vineyard &Winery: Morgado do Quintão wine tour
Situated in the western Algarve near Portimão, Morgado do Quintão is a family-run winery that focuses on producing natural wines.They offer tours and tastings, allowing visitors to explore their vineyards and sample their unique wines.
With a profound commitment to disrupting the status quo and to bringing winemaking back to its forgotten roots in their region, today’s generation at Morgado do Quintão are attempting to mould a new perspective on Algarvian wine, seizing an opportunity to nurture the land on which vines first arrived on the Iberian Peninsula.
Since their first vintage in 2016, they have been recognised for pushing boundaries in a new era for Algarvian wine. From 2,000 to 20,000 bottles, along the way they have received the Revista de Vinhos award for ‘Best Wine in Portugal - Algarve’ for two years running, breaking glass ceilings in the recognition of wine from the Algarve. As one of the first vineyards in the Algarve to export to the US, they are also proud to have their grapes represented in 3-star Michelin restaurants around the world.
Book wine tours and wine tastings in the Algarve advance
Especially for summer holidays in the Algarve, you really need to book wine tours in advance.
Book your stay at Villa Cascata, there are great wine excursions that include a visit to one or more vineyards. Explore the authentic Algarve on these fun and interesting all day tours. Most of these tours also have a professional guide. Contact us for more information.