VISIT THE WINE REGION
If you’re staying in Lisbon for longer than a day or a weekend, consider going north to the wine region and experience the terroir and the beaches in the coast. There are some wineries ready to be visited just outside of the city and you can always rent a car, take the highway and within less than an hour you’ll find yourself surrounded by vines and orchards. The heart of the region sits north of the city, sheltered by the Altantic Ocean breeze and the Montejunto hills, giving the wines that mineral characteristic we love.
Now, to get more in the nitty gritty details of it all, I’m sharing some extra advice:
Is the wine region worth driving for?
Short answer – yes, it is! And such a quick drive. The landscape on the way is lovely and you’ll love it even more once you get there. Lisbon is one of the most diverse regions with wines for literally every palate. White, red, rosé, sparkling and even dessert wine – there’s something for everyone. Plus, the wineries have been working a lot to develop their wine tourism portfolio while still maintaining that authenticity that makes them lovely and unique.
How's the wine?
The wine is amazing and, in the last ten years, the industry has gone through major upgrades. Wineries have made several improvements when it comes to winemaking techniques and methods and the wines have reached such deliciousness, showing off great acidity, minerality, depth of flavor and aromas.
Joana, middle, and Rachel Farah, right, enjoy the wines of the Lisboa region
What can I visit?
Wineries range from small boutique to bigger commercial ones – you have places with hotels, wine restaurants, fabulous wine tasting rooms, workshops, places that let you enjoy a meal in the vineyards and others that even let you do your own wine blend and bring it home.
ONE DAY OUT – BUCELAS, ERICEIRA & MANZWINE
Please take into consideration that opening hours may vary during the year and considering possible covid19 restrictions so always make sure to book ahead and contact each place individually before driving there. Once you have everything planned just get up early and have a nice breakfast and a cup of your favorite morning drink, either juice, coffee or tea. Grab your rental car and head north to Bucelas (it will be a quick drive on the highway).
Bucelas is the birthplace of Arinto, one of the main Portuguese white grapes. You’ll find it planted all over Portugal but it shows best in Bucelas terroir. Visit the museum for a more in-depth discovery session of the grape, the region and the terroir. The Museum has two distinct exhibition areas: one with a permanent display, where the visitor gets to understand the main stages of vine culture and traditional methods of wine production and a mezzanine reserved for temporary exhibitions, thematically connected to all aspects of wine.
Rua D. Afonso Henriques, 2 e 4 (EN 16)
Tuesday to Sunday » 10:00am to 1:00pm // 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Closed on Mondays and Sundays
LUNCH AT CHÃO DO PRADO
What would be the best thing to do after a drive and a museum morning in Bucelas? Lunch, of course! Drive for five minutes and sit at Chão do Prado, a hidden gem in the region. The food is delicious, with a multitude of regional dishes to enjoy while sitting outside right on the vineyards. It will be one of those meals you’ll remember fondly for years!
Rua Almirante Gago Coutinho, 155
Wednesday to Saturday » 12:00am to 2:30pm / 7:00pm to 10:30pm
Sunday » 12:00am to 2:30pm
Closed on Monday and Tuesday
AFTERNOON AT ERICEIRA BEACH
Now, a trip to the wine region wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the beach. I mean, you’ll keep hearing how the Lisbon wines are heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean breeze so you might as well drive there to fully experience it.
So, just drive for 30 quick minutes to Ericeira, a small fishing village turned into international surf spot just sitting on a cliff. A charming small town of white and blue painted houses where you can just walk and wonder for a while before stopping for coffee or go down to the beach to get your feet on the sand and maybe the Atlantic Ocean.
To end a perfect day, drive 20 minutes to Manzwine, a small boutique winery in Cheleiros, a really small town with just over 1000 people, a few miles away from Mafra.
Historically, Cheleiros was filled with vineyards because most people were producing wine in their small vineyards but that changed when people moved away to the city. Manzwine is a wine producer that brought the tradition back and accidentally revived a white wine most people thought was gone – Jampal. If you drive there, they will tell you the story about how they found Jampal, a grape “lost” in a single row in the vineyard they bought, how they decided to test it and produce wine with it, not knowing how that would work. Turned out to be a grape that’s hard to grow but great to make wine with as it makes fresh, mineral, delicious white and sparkling wines!
Largo da Praça, nº8 – A
Tuesday to Friday » 9:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday to Sunday » 10:00am to 6:00pm
Closed on MondayM
At the end of the day trip, just drive back to the city - it takes less than 40 minutes. So, now you know - fly to Lisbon and rent a car and check out the wine region. Stay, relax, enjoy, go back, miss us and comeback again! Believe me, most people do.