From lively vinho verde to full-bodied Port, Portugal is home to some incredible wines. Just north of Lisbon, the Lisboa wine region stretches up northwards along the coast. Influenced by the Atlantic winds, steep slopes and clay soils, the region’s wines are elegant, with distinct personality. Here’s our guide to the best Lisboa wines, and where to try them
KNOW YOUR WINES
Over twenty types of grapes are grown across Lisboa; in fact, it’s the region that produces the most wine in Portugal. There are nine sub-regions and DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada, Portugal’s highest wine classification) wine types:
Alenquer: A tannin-rich red wine made with Castelão, Alfrocheiro, Aragonês (Tempranillo) and Touriga Nacional grapes.
Arruda: Light, fruity red wines that include international grape varieties like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. Arruda produces Doña Blanca and Fernão Pires white grapes too.
Bucelas: Dry, light-bodied, citrusy white wines made with the Arinto grape. They’re very good after 4+ years of aging.
Colares: Made from grapes grown in sandy soil near the coastal cliffs, this is an unusual wine. Golden coloured, full-bodied and made with Malvasia Fina.
Óbidos and Lourinhã: Light-bodied, fragrant white wines made from Fernão Pires grapes.
Torres Vedras: Easy drinking, refreshing white wines that are low in alcohol.
For an immersive Lisboa wine experience, head out to the countryside and visit one of these wineries.
A stunning contemporary winery, the high-tech AdegaMãe eschews tradition in favour of innovation. You can see the entire creation process of their six wines, from presses to fermentation to peeking inside their laboratory. Just 30 minutes from Lisbon, the historic family estate of Quinta de Sant’Ana produces Pinot Noir, Branco, Tinto, Alvarinho and Merlot. Their excellent wine tastings are accompanied by local delicacies.
The former estate of the marquis of Pombal, Quinta do Gradil sits in the foothills of the gorgeous Serra de Montejunto. It produces three wine ranges (affordable to premium), along with a quality brandy. Visit to explore the vineyards, cellar and tasting room.
WHAT TO TRY
As the largest wine producing region in Lisbon, Lisboa does easily quaffable, crowd-pleasing wines in abundance. To sample its finest drops, however, seek out complex, dense and aromatic Alenquer reds. The sub-region is warmer and less windy, allowing the grapes to fully ripen. If you’re looking for white wines, Arinto grape wines from Bucelas are superior quality; famously aromatic, with citrus and tropical fruit notes. Sharing similar terroir to Champagne, Óbidos produces the best sparkling wine in Portugal.
WHERE TO BUY
In Lisbon, the best showcase can be found at Garrafeira Nacional. Founded in 1921, it’s a cavernous emporium in Barrio Alto, and an oenophile’s paradise. You can pick up a 1934 Colares red or a 2015 Arinto. They ship internationally, too. Napoleão is a family-run chain that specialises in the finest wines, spirits and gourmet food products too. You’ll find seven scattered across Lisbon. Peruse their aisles of Arrudas and Bucelas, and get some Azeitao cheese to enjoy alongside.