Lisboa

A region that has traditionally supplied Lisbon's citizens with wine, undoubtedly going back thousands of years. The Atlantic's pervasive winds and wet weather create a much cooler and wetter climate than the regions latitude might suggest. Vineyards directly exposed to the ocean can suffer climate problems more like Northern Europe, sometimes struggling to get grapes ripe. But on a more positive level wines tend towards fresh, crisp acidity and pronounced aromatics.

Hence, the key to production in Lisbon is heavily dependent on finding the best possible sun exposure and protection from rain and wind. A mountainous spine divides the region north to south, intersected by a second northern range, both creating their own weather patterns. Additionally, inland Tejo throws its influence into the mix.  Of all Portugal's regions, Lisbon is one of the most  complicated to define and explain. Like with Burgundy, it all comes down to site and individual producer.

Much of the latter part of the 20th Century was devoted to producing high volume, inexpensive wine that often was relatively lean and acidic. Over the last two decades there has been a steady shift towards higher quality, lower volume wines, with an emphasis on viticulture geared towards concentration and ripeness. The adoption of solutions developed in 'cool climates' globally has resulted in some of Portugal's most exciting wines of late.

Directly before and after Phylloxera the mix of grapes was quite different than drove production in most of the 20th Century. French grapes invaded many vineyards during the 1980s and 90s to feed market demand and counter cold conditions. Currently this trend is being reversed through a strong movement to rediscover traditional local grapes and employ grapes from other Portuguese regions in Lisbon's vineyards.