Lisboa is a winemaking region located along Portugal’s Atlantic coastline. Most prominently, it is the home to the nation’s capital, Lisbon. The best vineyards are located north and west of Lisbon and are divided into 9 different sub-zones, of which the most famous are Alenquer and Bucelas.
Perhaps the most important geographical features of Lisboa are the Serra de Montejunto hills that shield Lisboa from the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. These hills, which run north from Lisbon, help to moderate the climate for the region’s winemakers.
The region’s most famous red wines come from Alenquer, which has established a reputation for complex, full-bodied wines made from Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz (Tempranillo). The most celebrated white wines come from Bucelas, which is known for its fresh, minerally white wines made from Arinto that can gain complexity after 2-3 years of aging. Bucelas is a small, historic area located just 25 kilometers north of Lisbon’s central Baixa district.
Overall, over 30 different types of grape varietals can be found in Lisboa. International varietals such as Cabernet and Merlot are now very much in demand after a long period in which primarily Portuguese grape varietals were favored.
Large winemaking cooperatives are responsible for much of Lisboa’s wine production. That has led to a much more commercialized approach to wine production that favors quantity over quality as well as grapes capable of high yields and resistance to disease. In addition, this approach to winemaking has allowed production of vinho de mesa (inexpensive wines for everyday drinking) to flourish.
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