|Adega do Cantor||Albufeira|
|Quinta dos Vales||Lagoa|
|Monte da Casteleja||Lagos|
|Adega Quinta do Francês||Silves|
The Algarve has a rich and varied history. This was the last point of the country to be wrested from the Moors, towards the end of the 13th Century, and also the spot from where Portugal’s overseas discoverers set out. However, cramped between the Caldeirão hills and the sea, the vines have little room to expand, having remained in only four Controlled Denominations Origin, namely: Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira. The more popular of the four are Lagoa and Portimão, and the region also boasts Sir Cliff Richard as an influential local producer. His “Vida Nova” brand has been an asset in terms of promoting the Algarve region and Portuguese wines in general in the British market.
As long as the beaches keep reeling in tourists in their thousands, oenologists will continue to have a demanding clientele, willing to try out the potential of Algarve wines. This leads to more vineyards sprouting up, and in turn to a wider range of choices. The constant sunshine makes for smoother and fruitier wines. Reds are still best, but the whites have come a long way as the vines are perfected and adapted to local conditions.
Main red varieties include Castelão, Trincadeira and Tinta Negra Mole, while the most common whites are Arinto and Síria, or Roupeiro. The reds and whites are mostly sold locally as there is still not enough quantity to make it out of the Algarve, let alone the country, but exportation is the goal in the near future.