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Often considered Portugal’s tourist paradise, the Algarve is a region where the growing of vines has decreased in the last couple of years. The tourist industry has occupied a large part of the agricultural lands and, consequently, the wine from the Algarve was almost extinguished. Currently, there is new interest in growing vines in the region, and investments are being made in the sector.

Located in the south of Portugal, the Algarve has a very specific climate: it is near the sea, but also suffers the influence of the mountain (Espinhaço de Cão, Caldeirão and Monchique mountain ranges). The mountains are very important for this region’s agriculture, since they protect the farms from northern winds. This way, the climate is warm and dry, with low temperature range and an average of 3000 hours of sunshine per year.

Tourism development in the region was harmful to viticulture. The vines were replaced with hotels, tourism resorts and golf courses.

In the last couple of years, investments have been made to revitalise the wine sector. Some grape varieties were replanted, wineries were modernised and new production methods were introduced.

The Algarve region is made up of four Denominations of Origin: Lagos, Lagoa, Portimão and Tavira. However, most of the wine is produced under the designation of Vinho Regional do Algarve (free translation: Algarve Regional Wine). Traditional grape varieties are Castelão and Negra Mole (in red grape varieties) and Arinto and Siria (in white grape varieties). Syrah was one of the grape varieties used when replanting the vines and has proved to be adequate for the region’s climate. Therefore, its plantation has increased. Wines from the Algarve are soft and very fruity.

  • Comissão Vitivinícola Regional Algarvia
    Estrada Nacional 125 - Bemparece (Instalações do IVV)
    8400-429 Lagoa
    Tel.: 282 34 13 93
    Fax: 282 34 13 96
    cvralgarve@mail.telepac.pt

Sub-regions

Algarve Sub-regions
  • 1| Lagos
  • 2| Portimão
  • 3| Lagoa
  • 4| Tavira

Curiosities

  • Muslim Occupation

    During the Muslim occupation of the Algarve, the vine was widely cultivated. As Muslim religion doesn't allow the ingestion of alcohol, the wine would be used as a transaction currency to acquire other products. After reconquering the Algarve, the Christians used the Muslims' economic organisation.
  • Commercial importance

    Algarve's wine tradition is not limited to cultivating and producing wine: the region has played an extremely important role in the commercial trades made during the Middle and Modern Ages.