For centuries, vines grow in the Algarve. Fresh grapes and wine are part of people everyday’s life. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians brought wine and dried raisins from elsewhere and were used for exchanging local products.
When consumption became important, production started locally, where the excellent soil and weather conditions have contributed to the expansion of the vineyard and the wine's economic growth.
At the time of the Portuguese discoveries, the production of wine in the Algarve supplied the caravels that sail from Lagos and Sagres, contributing as an energy source for sailors, as an alternative to water, since it was difficult to keep it for long periods of time.
The Algarve Wine Region was outlined by Decree law 207/80 and is divided into four sub-regions; Lagos, Portimão, Tavira and Lagoa. At each sub-region there was a cooperative; altogether processed about 80% of the Algarve wine grape production.
In addition to the wine cooperatives there were hundreds of small wineries scattered throughout the region, many of them located by fish harbors taking advantage of the enormous working population devoted to fishing and also in the process of fish preserving.
The traditional wine region of Algarve stretches along the coast from Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António in the east, until Vila do Bispo and Aljezur in the west, using poor sandy soils that helped refine the quality of grapes. That kind of soils allowed vines to survive to filoxera disease that, at the beginning of the 20th century, killed most of the European vineyards.
The fact that the Algarvian vineyards were located in coastal soils slowly contributed to their "death" with the coming of tourism in the 70's and culminated with the closure of three of the four wine cooperatives that existed in the Algarve.
The area of vines in the Algarve had been up to 5 / 6 thousand hectares in the 60s and today it won't exceed one thousand hectares.
In the late 90s wine production started to resurface, also in the interior (barrocal) by small producers with their excellent wines from “quintas”, and made it possible to have once again, the Algarve region producing quality wines.
These new producers introduced better quality Portuguese and French grapes originating wines of great character and excellent quality.
The winery at Quinta da Penina receives grapes from 3 farms located in two sub-regions DOP (Portimão and Lagoa) taking advantage of different microclimates and soils, producing soft wines, well structured, full bodied, appreciated by consumers and critics with a great price-quality relationship.
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