Alentejo and Setúbal, Portugal, Wine Tour

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The Wine Tour to the dynamic Alentejo, with a visit to the Setúbal peninsula and the legendary muscatel wines

— When the weather is still warm in the fall we visit Portugal, one of the most exciting wine countries in Europe right now. We cover two Portuguese wine regions during these days. We spend a day at the Setúbal peninsula and two days in the Alentejo, Portugal’s largest region where vines cork oaks abound. Modern world-class reds and whites contrast with almost mythical moscatel de setubal.

Program    |    Travel facts    |    Book    |    More on the tour

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Next wine tour to Alentejo:

  • Contact us!

This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.

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Alentejo covers almost a third of Portugal’s surface. But only 4% of the population lives here. In other words, it is a wide open and very rural landscape which has a very special charm. It is lush and green in the spring, drier and browner in the fall.

Alentejo is the home of the cork oak forests, gut the share some space with vines, olive trees and pine trees. And the occasional black pig (which is a delicious Alentejo speciality!) that runs loose and feasts on plenty of acorns.

A traditional farmhouse in Alentejo
A traditional farmhouse in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

It was in the Alentejo that the new wave of quality progress started for the Portuguese wines. For many years now, producers in the Alentejo have won awards for their full-bodied, fruity red wines. And the quality has just continued to improve. Many entrepreneurs have come here to grow wine. Large investments have been made in this previously rather poor region. Today we find both small and large wine estates, red and white wines, good everyday wines and top-quality wines in the Alentejo.

Portugal, and not least Alentejo, has its own local grape varieties. During the journey we will encounter many of them: Antão Vaz, Arinto, Fernão Pires, roupeiro, alfrocheiro, Castelao, Trincadeira and many more. You can find French varieties too but they have fortunately not manage to take over. Portugal is keen to preserve its uniqueness.

In addition to the Alentejo we will visit the Terras do Sado on the Setubal peninsula just south of Lisbon. On the Setúbal peninsula vineyards coexist with beautiful national parks, olive groves, golf courses (we’re close to the capital) and long sandy beaches. Here they make red wines from the Castelão grape. This grape thrives in the sandy soil. The area is also well known for the amazing sweet wine called Moscatel de Setubal.

The cathedral and the rooftops in Evora, Alentejo
The cathedral and the rooftops in Evora, Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

Wine is not the only thing that you will experience on this trip. We will have plenty of opportunities to explore the Portuguese gastronomy. Another important and very enjoyable aspect is how to match wine and food. Our lunches usually include a tasting of the wines from one of the producers, which gives us plenty of opportunities to sample and discuss.

There will be many different specialities during the three days: charcuterie, wonderful cured ham (as good as the Spanish), lovely stews, cheeses etc. We will taste several different wines at the lunches so that you get a good feeling for the Portuguese food and wine parings.

You make your own way to Lisbon (and back home), the beautiful capital of Portugal. Here we stay the first and the last nights of the tour. The second and third nights we stay in Alentejo, in the amazing historic town of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Evora is an adorable little town, a mix of different styles, medieval houses, Renaissance, and Moorish style. It is magical and time-travelling to get lost in the narrow streets in the evening!

The tour is led by one of BKWine’s own wine and travel expert guides.

An oak forest and a vineyard in Alentejo
An oak forest and a vineyard in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

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More info

We have written a lot about the Alentejo and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.

Here you can find more about travelling in the Alentejo.

You can also find more information on the Alentejo wines on BKWine Magazine.


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Program — Alentejo and Setubal wine tour

This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.

Preliminary programme.

For more details, contact BKWine.

Program overview

  • Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Lisbon
  • Day 2, Thursday — The Setúbal peninsula, Terras do Sado
  • Day 3, Friday — Alentejo, east of Evora
  • Day 4, Saturday — Alentejo, south of Evora
  • Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home

Wednesday, day 1 — arrival in Lisbon

You arrive in Lisbon and check-in at our centrally located hotel, a stone’s throw from the main Avenida da Liberdade.

Lisbon is a city made for strolling around in. But it is a city that is built on hills so it can be nice to sit down in one of the charming trams – looking like antiques – to get around once in a while. One tram line goes straight through the old quarter.

The city is beautifully situated on the River Tejo estuary. The city being built on hills means that there are many fantastic vantage points where you can look out over the city and Atlantic Ocean.

There are of course countless restaurants. Often they are small and intimate. You can find plenty of seafood and one of our favourites, grilled sardines. You find the very best grilled sardines in Portugal! Drop in to some bar later in the evening and listen to the fado, the traditional Portuguese singing.

The evening is free to discover some of the city’s restaurants and cafes as well as other attractions.

A beautiful winery in Alentejo
A beautiful winery in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

Thursday, day 2 — The Setúbal peninsula, Terras do Sado

Our bus will pick us up in the morning at the hotel in Lisbon. We travel south of the river, to the Setúbal peninsula. Crossing the river, we can view the huge Christ statue from the bridge, inspired by the one in Rio.

We have an hour’s journey ahead of us and our target is the small village of Azeitão. Setubal is a beautiful area and very popular with Lisbon residents for weekend excursions. The proximity to the big city has meant that some wineries have given way to property developments but the wine industry is still important.

The two main grapes are the white muscatel and the red castelão. The sweet wines of Muscat d’ Alexandrie are legendary, some of the most complex sweet wines in the world.

The typical oak trees in a field in Alentejo
The typical oak trees in a field in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

Castelão is a grape that is quite difficult to grow but it works very well here. It has become famous not least thanks to JM da Fonseca’s Periquita. But other grapes grow here too and if a producer wants to have the freedom to choose almost any grape then he can choose to sell his wines as Vinho Regional Terras do Sado.

Here on the Setúbal peninsula we will visit the highly renowned producer José Maria da Fonseca in Azeitão. We will have a tour of beautiful buildings, their historic collection, and the impressive cellars (the Periquita cellar, the Moscatel cellar…). After the wine tasting we will stay at of Fonseca’s and enjoy a delicious lunch together with some well-chosen wines from their range.

We will have the time for an afternoon visit on our way towards Evora.

Late afternoon we arrive at our hotel in Evora. The hotel is very central. After checking in, you have the evening free to explore this amazing city. Don’t miss an evening walk past the cathedral and the incredible Roman temple.

The famous Roman temple in Evora, Alentejo
The famous Roman temple in Evora, Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

Friday, day 3 — Alentejo, east of Evora

Our bus will pick us up in the morning at the hotel. Today we go to the east. We take the opportunity to look at all the cork oaks that we drive past and learn what the curious number markings mean.

Portugal has the largest cork oak plantings in the world with more than 700,000 hectares, most of it in the Alentejo.

We are making our way towards the city Reguengos de Monsaraz. Near the town we arrive at one of Portugal’s most renowned wine estates, Esporão. Here some of the Alentejo’s most prized wines are made. We will visit their magnificent winery and lodge. In the winery they work organically and sustainably and experiment with different ways to farm environmentally friendly. Both plants and animals thrive around the vineyards.

After the wine tasting we will have an aperitif and then we stay and enjoy a gastronomic lunch at Esporão. The chefs at Esporão have developed a new modernistic Portuguese cuisine with local ingredients.

The afternoon visit will be at an the interesting property owned by the José de Sousa Rosado et Fernandes. This is an impressive, very modern facility that combines old and new. For example, it has revived the ancient Roman tradition of fermenting wine in amphorae.

Late afternoon we are back in Evora. The evening is free for your own discoveries.

A cork oak forest in Alentejo
A cork oak forest in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

Saturday, day 4 — Alentejo, south of Evora

After breakfast we check-out of the hotel and load our luggage in the bus. Then we head south towards the small towns of Vidigueira and Cuba (indeed!).

Our morning visit is at the Herdade do Rocim winery. This is a fairly new estate of over 100 hectares of which 70 hectares are currently planted with vines. In addition, they have 10 hectares of olive trees and make their own very fine olive oil.

The new owners, who took over in 2000, have modernised, restructured and made new plantings. The new wine cellar is built to blend into the landscape.

An oak forest and a vineyard in Alentejo
An oak forest and a vineyard in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

After the visit and the wine tasting we continue south, towards Beja. Here we will visit Herdade da Mingorra, a family farm run by Henrique Uva with good help from his daughter Sophia. This is a property with great ambition and excellent quality.

We first make a short visit to the winery and then it is time for a traditional Portuguese lunch – as guests at the home of the Uva family – with a large number of wines, sparkling, white, red and sweet. We promise a very interesting collection of wines.

After lunch it’s time to head back to Lisbon. We expect to arrive at the hotel early evening.

We check into our hotel and you have the evening free to further explore this amazing city.

Time for lunch in Alentejo
Time for lunch in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

Sunday, day 5 — Heading back home

The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.

Program may be subject to modifications.

An oak forest and a vineyard in Alentejo
An oak forest and a vineyard in Alentejo, copyright BKWine Photography

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Tour Details — Wine tour to Alentejo and Setubal in Portugal

Dates: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.

Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.

Included in the price:

  • 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast
    • 2 nights in Lisbon at four-star hotel
    • 2 nights in Evora, at four-star hotel
  • Meals as described in the program above (*):
    • 3 gastronomic Portuguese multi-course lunches with local specialities, including wines, as guest at wineries
  • Start and end point: Lisbon
  • Bus transport during the whole trip
  • All vineyard and winery visits
  • Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 2 per day
  • Visits will be in English
  • Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide

(*) See below for more important information on our meals.

Not included:

  • Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.

You organise your travel to Lisbon yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.

We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.

For this trip to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered at the “book before” date. Maximum number of travel guests: 8.

Book This Tour

Book before: [this is a sample programme]

Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of [sample programme, this varies by trip]. Full payment should be received at the latest [sample programme, usually one month or 60 days, depending on the trip] before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.

It is important that your read our travel booking terms and conditions.

We also invite you to read more on why you should travel with BKWine, about customer protection, and about what you can expect from our wine tours in the section below “More on our wine tours”.

You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:

  • phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
  • Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
  • email: info@bkwine.com, or use the contact form below

“I want to book this tour” or “I want more info”

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More on our wine tours

Why travel with BKWine?

We are Britt and Per Karlsson. We are specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also experts in wine in general. We are internationally published wine writers and have written ten award-winning wine books.

No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tourism and gourmet travel.

We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours, and this is what we love to do. We take it very seriously – it is not a sideline or a hobby – and what we want more than anything is to share all these wonderful experiences with you.

All our tours are led and managed by guides who have in-depth wine knowledge, and in many cases we lead the tours ourselves.

Read more on why you should choose BKWine for your wine and food tour.

Thousands of happy customers

Over the years, thousands of wine lovers have travelled with us. Many come back to tour again and again with BKWine to new wine regions. Our record-breaking client has been on more than ten BKWine tours. We are happy and proud to have such faithful customers.

Read more on what travellers have said about our tours.

Awards and Mentions

We’re pleased and proud to have received many accolades, including:

  • “World’s Top Wine Tours”, Travel+Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
  • “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
  • “Recommended Wine Tours”, Munskänkarna, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year”, Gourmand International awards, and many other book prizes
  • Three OIV book awards, International Organisation of Vine and Wine
  • “Wine Personality of the Year”, an honour bestowed on Britt Karlsson by Munskänkarna in 2011, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • Inclusion on the Wine Media Power List, by Wine Business International magazine

About the wine producers and wineries we visit

Our aim is for you to experience some of the very best and most interesting aspects of the wine world, in terms of wine and food.

We put great effort into creating outstanding winery visits, and in this way we are quite different to many wine tour organisers. It is not always the most renowned, internationally known estates that offer the best experiences. Organising a wine tour featuring famous names of the wine world is relatively easy: it is merely a question of making lists and ticking boxes. On those kind of “bucket list” wine tours, you rarely meet the winemaker or the owner. You will simply be one of thousands of visitors they receive each year.

We do things differently. With BKWine Tours, you will meet the people behind the label, often the winemakers and/or the owners. Thanks to them, you will have a unique, truly personal experience and an insight into the wine world that no one else can offer. When you travel with BKWine, you are more like a special guest than a tourist.

We have personal connections and unparalleled knowledge thanks to more than 20 years as wine journalists, with 10 wine books published, and as wine tour organisers with more than 30 years’ experience. You can be sure of getting the best wine travel experiences with BKWine Tours.

Read more on the wine producers and wineries we visit.

A true gourmet experience: food and gastronomy

For us, wine and food are intimately linked, and this is a fundamental part of our wine travel philosophy. For this reason, a wine tour with BKWine is always an outstanding culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A BKWine tour is a gastronomic voyage that explores the deep relationship between food and wine.

Read more On Meals: Food and Gastronomy on Our Tours.

Customer Protection,  Financial Travel Guarantee, and Terms and Conditions

You can always feel safe when you book your tour with BKWine. BKWine has a bonded bank guarantee that gives full protection according to EU and Swedish law. BKWine is a Swedish limited company and as such is regulated by strict rules.

Read more on Customer Protection, Financial Travel Guarantee. and our Terms and Conditions.

When you book a tour it is important that you read the terms and conditions. BKWine’s booking terms and conditions follow the guidelines developed by the Consumer Protection Agency.

Health, vaccination and allergies

Our tours have no particular health requirements although inevitably we will be walking a certain amount in wine cellars and vineyards. Sensible footwear is a must.

Most of our travel destinations have no particular health guidelines or requirements for vaccinations or medical certificates, but if in doubt, you should always consult a medical professional, vaccination centre or relevant embassy in your country of origin.

We can always accommodate food allergies. However, in order for us to manage such requests you must let us know about any allergies before the tour starts.

Read more in our FAQ and in our Terms and Conditions.

Travel insurance

BKWine does not sell travel insurance. If you want travel insurance, check if your regular home insurance policy includes some kind of travel insurance, or contact your regular insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.

Custom Tours

We also offer custom wine and food tours if you want to travel on different dates, or if you want something different to what we currently offer on our scheduled tours. This tailor-made service can be offered for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.

Important information

Our groups are always small. The number of people in the group may vary. The maximum can range from 8 to around 20; check the details in each programme. But our groups are always modest in size. This is important because it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.

Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!

You are expected to organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours, but once you are at the location, we take care of everything.

For more inspiration

Read our wine travel blog. For more, read our online wine magazine the BKWine Magazine with articles from all over the wine world.

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