Portuguese wines have been around for centuries, but even with their rich history, French, Spanish, and Italian remain top of mind and dominate the game when it comes to European, or Old World, wines – both in consumption and production. Today, we’re shining a light on a special selection from the very heart of Portugal, the Tejo region. With deep roots in viticulture, this region houses one of the country's oldest wine-producing traditions.
Defined by the Tejo River, the terroirs that accommodate the massive vineyards of family-owned estate Quinta Da Alorna allow fresh air and water to strengthen the soil, making it ideal for growing wine grapes. The region’s breathtaking terroirs have three distinct wine-producing zones: Bairro, located on the north of the river. These highlands are filled with plains rich in limestone and clay soils which encourages vine to establish deeper roots. Charneca, down south of Tejo. A flat and dry zone with poor soils that forces vines to produce more complex fruit. The higher temperature in this zone give grapes time to mature faster, and Campo, which lie on the very edges of the riverbanks, the close proximity lends more moderate temperature that help with the tart and acidity of the grapes.
Known to produce great quality wines in just as impressive quantities, the winemaking practices of the Tejo Region trace back to the first King of Portugal, Alfonso Henriques, when he let keepers plant olive trees and vineyards in the region, which kickstarted the production of vinos in Tejo.
A true reflection of its terroir, the wine from this history-heavy region is packed with good acidity and is easy to drink. It’s perfect for wine lovers in the Philippines looking to expand their knowledge and palate in wine. Quinta Da Alorna is an excellent representation of Old World wines that can cater to whatever drinking experience you may be looking for.
Mainly a family estate, the expansive vineyards of Quinta Da Alorna span out to over 2,800 hectares of land that are tended to by locals in the region who use both Modern and Traditional winemaking techniques. The estate was first established in 1723 by Pedro de Almeida – the first Marquis of Alorna and viceroy of India – when he started the construction of the palace on the estate grounds and later followed with the plantation of his first vineyard near the river Tagus. Initially an agricultural estate that only did wine on the side, the family has since shifted focus to more wines with 280 hectares of vines, making it the largest vineyard in the Tejo region. More than just wine production, Quinta Da Alorna has also dedicated an estimated 500 hectares for irrigation farming.
More than just the quality wines they produce, Quinta Da Alorna is also famous for its grand estate. The vineyard that is housed on the estate grounds, marked by a beautiful Bela Sombra at the entrance, is carefully tended to manually, with the fruits they bear hand-picked and foot-trodden. These techniques benefit the profiles of Portugal’s indigenous grapes (such as the Touriga Nacional and Arinto) and noble grapes (such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay), allowing Quinta da Alorna to continuously produce high-quality wines.
The Grand Reserva and Reserva Range from Quinta Da Alorna takes on Portugal’s unique grape varietal and marries them with the more traditional international varieties to create an exquisite blend of excellent quality wines that reflect the beautiful vineyard they were produced in.
Ideal for drinking out on a late-afternoon this beautiful mix of Arinto and Chardonnay is perfumed with notes of custard apples, green apples, caramel popcorn, and almond skin exuding a rich buttery scent. On the palate, it has refreshingly good levels of acidity with flavors of citrus peel, tree fruit, and a bitter nut skin finish. Pair with Chicken Cordon Bleu, Garlic Butter Shrimp, or Bloomy Rind Cheese.
If you've ever someone who gravitates towards bold red, this great blend of Pinoy-favorite Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional, this wine bursts with aromas of caramel, violets, black fruits, meat, cedar, pepper, and resin. The flavors are simple and straightforward - notes of black spice and blackberries are apparent followed by a minty finish. This wine will pair well with Cheddar cheese, Grilled Steak with Mashed Potato, or Grilled Liempo.
If you’re someone looking for a bottle to bring to dinner with friends but love the stability of what a Cabernet Sauvignon-Touriga Nacional blend has to offer then this bottle of vino is for you. With aromas of black cherries, black spice, new oak, violet, red plums, earth, chocolate, and smoke. Packed with notes of maraschino cherries, black pepper, licorice, cocoa, and smokey oak, this bottle is perfect for sharing on a night in. It will pair well with Wild Boar Stew, Porco Preto Sausage, or Chicken Piri-Piri.
Quinta Da Alorna is more than just wine: it’s a brand with a history that clearly shines through the wine they produce. A great flight that represents what Portugal has to offer if you are looking to broaden your horizons and expand your palate.
Shop the QUINTA DA ALORNA COLLECTION on the Winery.ph website
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