Quintas de Alenquer wine route
The vineyards along the Quintas de Alenquer wine route on the Silver Coast are legendary and some of the country’s most prestigious DOC labels come from there. The vines are protected from the Atlantic winds and grown in conditions which encourage the ripening of the grapes and the production of more concentrated wines.
The whites found along the Quintas de Alenquer wine route are aromatic with strong citrus flavours, while the reds are deep and bright when new and with age develop an elegant bouquet that is rich in tannins.
The Quintas de Alenquer wine route itinerary offers a tour through a beautiful rural landscape of rolling hills dotted with white windmills and houses, large and sunny mansions and a remarkable architectural heritage in the churches and convents that can be visited along the way.
Please note that most of the vineyards on the Quintas de Alenquer wine route require advance booking.
Stage 1: Start at the town of Alenquer, located just off the main A1 road from Lisbon to Porto. The town, first stop on the Quintas de Alenquer wine route, has been compared to a nativity scene, with its old town spreading up a hillside and the newer areas below on the river. This area of the Silver Coast has been occupied since pre-history and has a rich heritage of castles, convents and churches such as the 15th Century Church of São Pedro and the Monastery of São João Francisco, the first Franciscan monastery built in Portugal.
Stage 2: The first of the day’s vineyards on the Quintas de Alenquer wine route are located north east of the town: Quinta de Pancas (Tel: 263 732 894/219 687 380), a vineyard that has been producing world-class Silver Coast wines for the last 400 years; and Quinta de D. Carlos (Tel: 263 711 272) with its huge mansion house and highly valued private chapel.
Stage 3: Follow the Quintas de Alenquer wine route along the N9 through winding country roads, stopping off along the way at Quinta da Margem D’Arada (Tel: 263 776 020). Afterwards continue on to Aldeia Galega Merceana, a town which dates back to the early 16th century. The Church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, founded by Queen D. Leonor in 1552, the Convent of Santo António da Merceana and the Quinta dos Plátanos, a farm that dates back to the 17th Century, are all worth a visit on this stage of the Quintas de Alenquer wine route.
Stage 4: Just outside of the town are two more vineyards worth visiting: Quinta da Chocapalha (Tel: 263 769 317) where wines have been made since the 16th century, and Quinta da Boavista (Tel: 263 760 621) whose prestigious wines mainly find their way abroad.
Stage 5: Continuing along the N115 the Quintas de Alenquer wine route winds down to Abrigada, stopping off at Quinta do Monte D’Oiro (Tel: 263 766 060) to sample their award-winning wines; and further down the road at Quinta do Valle do Riacho (Tel: 263 770 879) where wine production is probably older than the buildings.
Stage 6: On reaching Abrigada, last stop on the Quintas de Alenquer wine route, stop for a while and enjoy the views of the Montejunto mountains. This town has been inhabited since the 15th century and has a rich religious heritage which can be found in the Mother Church, built on the orders of D. Afonso II; the Church of Senhora da Graça, probably founded in the 14th Century; and the Chapel of S. Roque.
The last vineyard on the Quintas de Alenquer wine route is Quinta de Abrigada (Tel: 263 799 153), a property that has been owned by one family since it was bought in 1534 from Fernando Álvares Cabral, son of the man who discovered Brazil. The wine from this estate is internationally recognised.