Wine Tour to the Alentejo
21st-25th April 2024 – tour full
8th-12th May 2024 – good availability
25th-29th September 2024– tour full
1st-5th October 2024 – good availability
5 days/4 nights based in Évora, £1,375pp, £125 single supplement
Price excludes flights/Early booking discount available
- Visits to key regions in Alentejo.
- Visit top estates, tasting award winning wines.
- Stay in the walled city of Évora, with its Roman remains and Baroque architecture.
- Enjoy the stunning scenery of the region.
- At least six visits over three days.
- Comprehensive tastings at every visit, and four fabulous tasting lunches or dinners
21st-25th April 2024 – fully booked
8th-12th May 2024 – good availability
25th-29th September 2024 – fully booked
1st-5th October 2024 – good availability
Our tour commences at our Meeting Point at Lisbon Airport (see Flight Transfers below). We will board our coach for the hour drive to Évora; depending on flight timings we may visit a winery en route to our hotel. In Évora we will settle into our 4 star hotel., and in the evening we will stroll out to a local restaurant where we will enjoy a first night dinner that introduces the region.
We board our coach after breakfast to visit the Borba and Portalegre sub-regions of the Alentejo. Winemaking in Borba dates back to the 1st Century and were renowned in the 17thcentury as some of the best in the Alentejo. Portalegre is most perhaps the most esteemed sub region of the Alentejo and some of best estates are situated here. We will take lunch at one of our visits or in a local restaurant.
Evening at leisure in Évora.
We head south to the Granja-Amareleja and Vidigueira sub-regions where the vines endure a little more stress than further north and deliver a contrasting selection of wines. We can expect to find a mix of eclectic wines with long established field blends at the core of production. Lunch will be at one of the wineries we visit, or at a local restaurant.
Evening at leisure in Évora.
The Evora, Redondo and Reguengos sub-districts are the focus of final full day. Evora was the jewel in the crown of the region until phylloxera struck but only now are we witnessing a fantastic revival. Redondo is home to some massive cork forests and has a similar history to Borba. Reguengos is lesser known but showing quality and potential. These sub-regions epitomise the harmony and balance you expect to find in the Alentejo emplying a combination of both international and indigenous grapes.
Our final night dinner will be a top local restaurant.
After breakfast we will depart by coach for Lisbon Airport (See Flight Transfers below).
Note: the Itinerary may be changed at Tim Syrad Wine Tours discretion so as to facilitate the smooth running of the tour and to accommodate great opportunities for visits or tastings that may become available.
Key Tour Information
* The Key Tour Information specifies what you should expect from the tour, no matter how far ahead you book.
As additional information is published on the website, it will be advised to clients who have reserved a place. The daily itinerary will be finalised in the weeks leading up to the Start Date.
- £1,375 per person based on 2 people sharing a double/twin room.
- £125 supplement for single occupancy of a double room,
- £100 discount for bookings made before 1st January 2024, and paid for 12 weeks before departure.
- Transport from the Meeting Point at Lisbon Airport to the hotel on Day 1, and to the Departure Point at Lisbon Airport on Day 5.
- 5 days (including arrival and departure days)/4 nights bed and breakfast in good quality 4 star hotel in Evora.
- Coach for all activities in the itinerary.
- Three full days of visits and tastings.
- Six visits/tasting at wineries, tasting the key grape varieties and styles of the region.
- Four lunches/dinners with local wines.
- All local taxes and service charges.
- The services of Tim Syrad as your Wine Tour Manager and Wine Guide.
It is a condition of my accepting a booking that you will take out appropriate travel insurance – please see our Terms and Conditions Section 8.
Terms and Conditions are available here or on request.
Please note flights are not included in the price. Many of my clients prefer to extend their holiday before or after my tours, so I let people make their own flight arrangements.
* End of Key Tour Information
Our Meeting and Departure Point is Lisbon Airport. I will arrange transfers to coincide with the following flights.
Outbound (Sunday 21st April 2024)
British Airways from London Heathrow to Lisbon. Flight BA0500 departs LHR 0730 arrives LIS 1015.
Return (Thursday 25th April 2024)
British Airways from Lisbon to London Heathrow. Flight BA0519 departs LIS 1635 arrives LHR 1920.
Outbound (Wednesday 8th May 2024)
British Airways from London Heathrow to Lisbon. Flight BA0518 departs LHR 1250 arrives LIS 1535.
Return (Sunday 12th May 2024)
British Airways from Lisbon to London Heathrow. Flight BA0519 departs LIS 1720 arrives LHR 2005.
Tours 3/4 – September /October 2024 – flight transfers to be advised when BA publishes its schedule
Please contact me if you would like to discuss travel options, for example flying to or from a different airport or making the journey by rail or driving. I cannot arrange travel for you, but I can advise on what might work best.
How to book this tour
Please contact me by phone or email, or use the enquiry form on the Contact page on the website to check availability. When I confirm a place is available, please complete the booking form to reserve your place.
Once I have confirmed a tour is proceeding I advise clients to arrange flights and confirm travel arrangements to me. Please do not arrange flights before I have confirmed your place and that the tour is proceeding.
Full payment must be made 12 weeks before the tour starts, invoices will be sent out 14 weeks before the tour starts. Two weeks before the tour starts you will need to provide your insurance details (name of insurer, policy number, 24 hour emergency telephone numbers), outbound/inbound travel arrangements and any dietary requirements.
More about my Wine Tour to the Alentejo
Where we are staying
Our base is Évora, the capital of the Alentejo region. The old town lies within the ancient walls, which provide a beautiful backdrop to the Roman temple, Romaneseque cathedral and other beautiful buildings. Views across the rolling countryside abound, and there is no shortage of places to explore during our evenings at leisure. Our hotel is well placed to allow us to stroll out into the city, while still having convenient access to our coach.
Distances are reasonable, though roads are variable. Our journey each day should take no more than an hour and a half each way, and we will be able to enjoy the expansive landscape en route. During our days visiting wineries we will take some time to explore Montados (cork oak forests) – Alentejo is home to 50% of the world’s cork production.
What we will be eating
An isolated and historically poor region, Alentejo developed a creative approach to producing wonderful food, with a big focus on seasonal produce. We will enjoy locally grown asparagus, herbs (purslane, river mint, pennyroyal, coriander, oregano), garlic, tomatoes and chickpeas. Bread and olive oil will feature in virtually every meal, and are a base for soup, which is a staple dish of the region, and migas (stale bread soaked or fried in olive oil or pork fat).
Flocks of sheep graze the hillsides, providing meat and milk, with local cheeses such as Serpa, which is made according to traditions including how the muslin cloth used to filter the milk is folded! The porco preto (alentejo black pig) forages on acorns in the cork forests and holm oak woods, and is made into roasts, grills, smoked and dried sausages and hams.
There are DOPs (appellations) for plums, cherries, chestnuts, different olive oils, and olives, mutton, goat, sausage, veal and particularly pork products. Puddings include the sweets and pastries created centuries ago in convents and monasteries, using lots of egg yolks and sugar: ‘Bolo Real’ from the Convento do Paraíso de Évora, ‘Manjar Celeste ‘(heavenly sweet).
Wines we will enjoy
While the majority of wines from Alentejo are red, fresh white wines are made and a tiny amount of rosé. Top sparkling wines are made by the Traditional Method (second fermentation in bottle).
Alentejo’s DOC was created in 1988, followed a year later by its eight regional DOCs. The Comissão Vitivinícola Regional Alentejana (CVRA) was founded in 1989, and manages the PDO (DOC) and the PGI (Vinho Regional Alentejano), and promotion of these at home and abroad.
DOC wines are made mainly from indigenous Iberian varieties and a small number of international varieties, while the Vinho Regional Alentejano wines have more freedom to choose from a palate including many more Portugese and international varieties.
Vinhos de Talha are made throughout Portugal, in Alentejo since the Greeks and Phoenecians occupied the lands. Whole grapes are put into clay pots , or amphorae, (remains have been found of vessels of 2,000 litres capacity). Their curved shape encourages the must to circulate as it ferments, keeping the wine fresh. The opening of the pots of wines made in this traditional way in November is an excuse for a festival in many towns in the Alentejo.
Wine regions in Alentejo
Across the Alentejo old vineyards survive, with bush vines, often of mixed varieties, produce at very low yields, and incredible quality. Despite the region’s reputation for value for money, some wines now compete in the highest echelons of the wine market. Portugal’s famous wine operations including Sogrape and Symingtons have invested inwards, while locals have achieved great reputations, including the Eugénio de Almeida family who founded Adega Cartuxa and João Portugal Ramos.
Portalegre is the most northerly of the sub regions, and considered to be very different from the others because of its high altitude, its vineyards are on the foothills of the Serra de São Mamede, at altitudes up to 800m, resulting in cooler temperatures, better diurnal variation (difference between day and night temperatures) and more rainfall. Here ancient plots of bush vines survive, many producing ‘field blends’, while new vineyards are being planted to take advantage of the perfect conditions.
Borba, Redondo, Reguenos and Évora are considered to be the heartland of the Alentejo style. 80% of plantings are of black grapes, and the poor schist soil provides perfect drainage, with sufficient winter rainfall retained to enable vines to survive the heat and dryness of the summer.
To the south Vidigueira is on a geological fault, separating the Alto Alentejo from the Baixo Alentejo, with an escarpment that traps cooler wetter westerly winds. Despite its relatively southern position, it is cooler than some of its northern neighbours, and it produces a significant amount of white wine. To its east and south are Granja-Amareleja and Moura, where the clay content of the soil assists water retention and some of the most powerful Alentejo red wines are made.
More about Tim Syrad Wine Tours
Since 1997 I have escorted over 125 groups of people on wine tours, visiting more than 30 wine regions in Europe and the New World. My clients keep coming back year after year because in addition to tastings and visits we really do meet the people who make the wine and tend the vines.
I pride myself in offering tours that are informative, imaginative and enjoyable. I keep group sizes manageable so that we spend our time appreciating our visits, not getting on and off the bus or queuing for the loos! I personally escort all of my tours, and I ensure as much as possible of the money my clients pay is spent on great food and wine, and good hotels. I believe you can combine appreciating fabulous wine with relaxation and laughter, which is why so many of my clients come on tour with me every year. More than 70 people have come on at least 10 of my tours.
There is a friendly and welcoming atmosphere on every tour from the start, and I am proud that many friendships have been made between the people who come on tour with me.