The Lisbon wine region spreads out along a 180 km strip of coastland between Cascais and Pombal. It begins in Colares, one of the oldest regions, and also one of the only areas to have escaped the Phyllloxera plague, since its vines were mostly planted in sand.
Another famous wine from this region is Carcavelos, a generous aperitif which has struggled due to loss of vines to urban development. It was a favourite of Wellington’s, the English officer who helped the Portuguese army repel Napoleon’s invasions in the 19th century. Bucelas is another hallmark, made famous by Shakespeare’s King Henry VI and reserved exclusively for white varieties. It is justly known as the Capital of Arinto because of its excellent whites; fresh, well rounded, aromatic and with a hint of minerals which makes them ideal accompaniments for light meals such as chicken, fresh water fish or seafood.
Mention must also be made of Encostas d’Aire with its historic wines; Torres, Alenquer and Óbidos. Also Arruda with its seaside vineyards which produce full bodied and richly coloured wines. Lourinhã, near the coastal town of Peniche, provides the grapes used as a base for some of the best brandies in Portugal, which is why Lourinhã is the only region in the country demarcated exclusively for brandy.
The region’s main characteristic is the diversity and versatility of its wines, which adapt themselves to the different delicacies they are served with.