Great food and good wine go hand in hand. It’s virtually impossible to think about a special meal without the enhancing powers that wine brings to the table.
If there’s one thing that can make wine stand out besides being properly paired with dishes that match its profile, it’s to learn more about its origin. We’re firm believers that, when you know more about where ingredients and foods come from, you take in how much work goes into making them possible and, thus, you end up appreciating the end product even more, far beyond a mere sensorial manner.
If you are into wine and you happen to travel to the Portuguese capital, we’d highly encourage you to reserve a day or half day to visit one of the several vineyards in Lisbon's surroundings.
Portugal is divided into 14 official wine regions and 32 DOCs or DOPs, that is, defined geographical areas with controlled denomination of origin, including those in the Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and Azores. Each wine region has its distinctive characteristic and particular terroir and, nearby Lisbon, you can actually visit three of Portugal’s wine regions: Lisboa, Tejo and the peninsula of Setúbal.
Lisbon is the second largest producer of wine in Portugal after the Vinho Verde region in the north of the country. During a quick day trip from the city, you can explore Lisbon region’s best wines, including the rare to find Carcavelos which we explore further below in one of our recommended winery tours. Tejo’s wine region sprawls the area of Portugal known as Ribatejo, which is mostly flat and conducive to growing all kinds of grape varieties, which are normally turned into fairly inexpensive wines best enjoyed with food rather than on their own. In turn, the peninsula of Setúbal is famed because of its Moscatel de Setúbal, a dessert wine produced with muscat grapes that shows a lovely deep golden hue.
If you’d like to do some Portuguese wine tasting, and around September perhaps even participate in the wine harvest itself, these are some of the best vineyards offering enotourism experiences near Lisbon.
We start our list of recommendations with the unique wine from Carcavelos, which is often overlooked in favor of Portugal’s more famous fortified wines like Port or Madeira. Carcavelos DOC wine’s history started back in the 18th century and reached its peak in the following century. In more recent decades, considering this is a suburban area where real estate has taken over lands previously used for vine growing, the production of Carcavelos wine has severely decreased but the quality and uniqueness of this dry fortified wine has not. Visit Villa Oeiras and see for yourself!
🍷 Two addresses in Oeiras (see details on the website below)
🚗 The fastest route would cover 20 km via de IC12, but if traveling out of peak hours, we recommend taking the scenic route via Av. Marginal, to soak in the stunning ocean views
Located between the mountains and the sea, AdegaMãe is one of the most welcoming places to go to explore the world of Atlantic wines near Lisbon. AdegaMãe’s enotourism program is pretty vast and it includes experiences that will teach you quite a lot about the winemaking process. Take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, participate in a guided tour with an expert, and opt in a variety of wine tastings. Wine and food experiences such as themed lunch and dinner are also available for groups for special occasions. If you prefer to do something a little more casual, simply pop by and visit AdegaMãe’s onsite shop and explore their vast range of wines by the glass before you decide which one you’d like to take back home with you.
🍷 Estrada Municipal 554, 2565-841 Fernandinho, Torres Vedras
🚗 About 50 minutes or 45 km via the A8 highway. If you have time make a stop in Malveira to try the popular trouxas da Malveira, sugary rolls of sponge cake with creamy egg filling
Quinta da Bacalhôa
Bacalhôa offers one of the most complete range of ecotourism experiences you are bound to find near Lisbon. Situated near Azeitão, in the peninsula of Setúbal, the project encompasses several wine farms under the motto “Art, Wine and Passion”. You can learn about the entire winemaking process visiting the Bacalhôa Winery Museum, the palace and stunning surrounding gardens and, of course, indulging in wine tastings. If this sounds fancy, keep in mind that a visit to Bacalhôa Winery Museum starts at only 5 euros and includes 3 wine tastings!
🍷 Estrada Nacional 10, 2925-901 Azeitão
🚗 40 km from Lisbon - take highway A2 for the fastest route, but don’t forget to make a quick detour to the town of Azeitão to try the famous eggy sweet pies tortas de Azeitão