The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is renowned for its stunning coastline, vibrant culture, and abundant sunshine.
Yet, hidden within this picturesque landscape is a viticultural treasure trove, where a diverse array of grape varieties thrives. Quinta dos Vales, a prominent winery nestled in the heart of Algarve, has skillfully harnessed the unique terroir of this region to produce wines that capture the essence of Algarve’s sun-soaked vineyards. In this article, we will explore some of the grape varieties that flourish in the Algarve, and how Quinta dos Vales artfully uses them to craft exceptional wines.
White grape varieties
Alvarinho: Alvarinho, a grape variety often associated with the Vinho Verde region, thrives in the Algarve’s microclimates. Quinta dos Vales has embraced this grape’s potential, crafting Alvarinho wines that balance the region’s warmth with Alvarinho’s trademark acidity. These wines showcase vibrant tropical fruit notes and a delightful minerality.
Antão Vaz: An Alentejo native treasure that has found its true calling in the Algarve. This grape thrives in the region’s hot and dry climate, producing wines with a pleasing blend of tropical fruit and citrus notes.
Arinto: A crisp, zesty white grape variety, Arinto has found a welcoming home in the Algarve’s warm and sunny climate. Known for its high acidity and citrusy flavours, Arinto grapes lend their vivacity to Quinta dos Vales’ white wines. The winery’s Arinto-based wines are celebrated for their refreshing character, making them perfect companions for the region’s seafood dishes.
Malvasia Fina: Malvasia Fina, an aromatic white grape, imparts a unique charm to Quinta dos Vales’ wines. Its floral and fruity aromas are elevated by the Algarve’s terroir, resulting in wines with a graceful, silky texture.
Síria: Síria, another indigenous grape variety, has a bright future in the Algarve. It is known for its elegant and crisp white wines, often marked by notes of green apple and citrus.
(Make sure to try Marquês dos Vales Grace Vineyard White ! A core blend of Arinto, Malvasia Fina and Síria that delights the palate with a symphony of flavours. Its creamy nature, balanced acidity and refreshing finish make it a delightful accompaniment to a wide array of culinary delights.)
Verdelho: Verdelho, with its aromatic profile and luscious texture, adds depth to Quinta dos Vales’ portfolio. This grape variety adapts beautifully to the Algarve’s conditions, delivering wines with a balanced combination of fruity and floral notes.
Viognier: Known for its seductive aromas of apricots and peaches, Viognier vines are a captivating sight amidst the Algarve’s landscape. Marquês dos Vales Grace Viognier showcase the grape’s opulence, offering a symphony of stone fruit flavours, often complemented by a subtle hint of spice. These wines are perfect for those seeking an exotic touch in their glass.
Red grape varieties
Alicante Bouschet: Known for its deep colour and robust character, Alicante Bouschet thrives in the Algarve’s warm climate. The Dialog Alicante Bouschet is a testament to the grape’s adaptability, delivering bold flavours of dark fruit and spices.
Aragonez: Also known as Tempranillo in Spain, Aragonez is a local hero that has found its place in the Algarve’s vineyards. Its versatility and adaptability to the region’s conditions make it a key ingredient in Quinta dos Vales’ rosé blends. Aragonez contributes red fruit notes and a touch of spice, harmonizing with other grape varieties to create balanced and memorable wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon: A globally recognized grape variety, Cabernet Sauvignon adds an international touch to Quinta dos
Vales’ portfolio. These wines are full-bodied and structured, with rich blackcurrant and cedar notes.
Castelão: Castelão, also known as Periquita, is a Portuguese grape variety with a rich history. It thrives in the Algarve’s warm climate, producing wines with a pronounced berry character.
Petit Verdot: While primarily associated with Bordeaux, Petit Verdot’s late ripening nature finds harmony in the Algarve’s extended growing season. Quinta dos Vales skillfully utilizes Petit Verdot to add depth and structure to their red blends (check the winery’s Dialog 2014 – a Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot blend). The resulting wines are intense, with dark fruit flavours and a touch of spice, demonstrating the winery’s dedication to crafting wines of complexity.
Syrah: Syrah is a grape variety celebrated for its versatility and ability to thrive in various wine regions worldwide and that contributes subtle spicy and dark fruit notes, adding layers of intrigue to the overall flavour profile of red wines.
Touriga Franca: Known for its delicate florals and a touch of red fruit, Touriga Franca contributes a subtle yet significant layer of elegance and complexity. Its interplay with Aragonez creates wines like the Marquês dos Vales Grace Rosé that are both intriguing and approachable, showcasing the winery’s expertise in blending.
Touriga Nacional: Often regarded as Portugal’s noble grape, Touriga Nacional lends its strength and character to Quinta dos Vales’ Marquês dos Vales Grace Touriga Nacional. This grape variety thrives in the Algarve’s terroir, producing wines with intense floral and berry notes.
In conclusion, Quinta dos Vales stands as a testament to the Algarve’s viticultural potential. Through a meticulous selection of grape varieties and a deep understanding of the region’s terroir, the winery has crafted a diverse portfolio of wines that capture the essence of this sun-soaked paradise. From indigenous grapes like Antão Vaz and Síria to international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier, each wine is a unique expression of the Algarve’s natural beauty and winemaking heritage. Whether you seek crisp whites to pair with seafood or bold reds to savour with hearty dishes, Quinta dos Vales offers a wine for every palate, each bottle telling a story of the Algarve’s rich and vibrant culture.