A New Vine Venture

By Jeff Morgan

Should you be seeking another good reason to not purchase your wine from a supermarket, you may like to know about Villa Alvor.

Aveleda, a family-owned enterprise, is the new owner of the 85-hectare estate, Villa Alvor, situated in the former Quinta do Morgado da Torre. Nestled between the Ria de Alvor and the Serra de Monchique, Villa Alvor beds on a clay-limestone soil, similar to the large areas of Burgundy and Provence; the estate is thought to have been producing wine for over 300 years.

Probably, the first wines in the region were produced when the Arabs arrived, whose influence is seen in the new logo. Roman mosaic, the sea and the vines, all reveal their own distinctive personality and identity that is characteristic of the quality of the Portimão grapes, grown in the warm sea breeze producing the regional wines.

Part of the Quinta is flat, ideal for white varieties, while the gentle south-facing hillside is more suitable for reds. Currently growing 14 hectares of vines using six varieties of grapes, the estate produces 130,000 litres of white, red and rosé wines. Aveleda will continue with the existing brands while they also plan a much larger project for the estate’s future.

Aveleda’s Director of Wine Tourism Paula Sousa explains, “We realise that the Algarve has the potential to become a great wine region, and we want to be part of it. Wine tourism will be a strong part of the strategy. The region needs to diversify beyond the beach and golf, and wine tourism makes perfect sense. Our perception is that this demand is not only in summer but throughout the year.”

Having purchased the Quinta in January 2019, the company quickly set about business, giving the buildings a facelift and attending to the vines. Aveleda is operated by two Guedes cousins, the fifth generation of wine producers, and the company has been producing wines for 150 years. After Aveleda’s resounding success in the Vinho Verde wine region – first in the Bairrada and then the Douro – Villa Alvor is its first venture on the south coast. The estate in Vinho Verde welcomes 37,000 visitors to the vineyard every year. Using their knowledge and history the cousins hope to replicate a similar success in the Algarve.

New plantations of vines, including character varieties, orange groves, landscaping to provide opportunities for bird watching and nature walks are just some of the plans. By May 2021, they hope to open new buildings, including a winery and tourism areas.

The winery is open now for visitors, although for a guided tour, booking is essential. Rodrigo and Susanna will explain about the grapes, the products and the process involved during the barrel room tour. Then, in the shop, you can sample the local produce which includes Aveleda’s own cheese, produced in their factory. You will be invited to pair wines with cheese, pate, jams, marmalades and chutneys.

Wine is available by the glass, the bottle, or even the crate, with the shop handling the shipping service, to your home address or overseas for yourself or as a gift. You can even mix your order with a selection of wines from the producer’s other regions which include, Port wine, Douro and Vinho Verde.

+351 282 476 866


Share this edition