A Short History of Portugal's Wine Regions
For centuries, Portugal has mainly been known for one wine in particular, but it’s actually home to over 200 indigenous grape varieties. The designation DOC—Denominação de Origem Controlada—remains the highest in Portugal. Today, there are 31 DOC regions in the country, each with strict guidelines to regulate local wine production. Even with a high number of regions for a small country, you'll find that many of the wines made here aren't available out of the country.
That makes Portugal an exciting destination for wine lovers, as it offers a rare opportunity to enjoy wines that aren’t widely distributed. Not to mention Portugal is also home to some of the most uniquely beautiful vineyards in the entire world.
Portugal’s wine really burst onto the international scene in the 17th and 18th centuries when a series of wars between Britain and France forced British merchants to acquire wine from Portugal. Winemaking was nothing new there, it had been practiced since the time of Greek and Celtic settlers.
Our Top 2 Wine Regions in Portugal
The Lisboa Wine Region in Portugal
Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, lies further south down the coast from Porto. The region just north of the city, Lisboa, stretches along the Atlantic, which makes for a cooler, windy climate that’s ideal for growing sparkling wine grapes. The DOC Óbidos region is particularly famous for its sparkling wines.
Lisboa may not have the global renown of the Douro Valley, but its wines are delightful and affordable. Whether you prefer full-bodied reds (Arruda), light and citrusy whites (Bucelas), or refreshing, low-alcohol whites (Torres Vedras), Lisboa is the ideal destination to taste a range of exciting, inventive Portuguese wines.