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Total Emersion In Lisbon Portugal

By Jack Blacksmith

If you go sightseeing and do the typical tourism around the city, you will learn a lot about Lisbon history, hear the fascinating story of the earthquake in 1755 and see the effects of this disaterous events even though many beautiful and interesting monumentsstill remain. But for someone who has done similar sightseeing of this city and others around it like Porto, Fatima, Faro and Albufeira, there is another important part of Lisbon Portugal where you can also learn its history, past and present. Let us dive into the juicy world of wine and its history.

Lisbon Portugal and its wines

On the ourskirts of Lisbon there are four grape growing regions. To the west, just a little north of Estoril is the region called Carcavelos. This wine, like many other wines in Lisbon, got its good reputation thanks to the alliance with the English. It is a wine with a full-bodied flavour with an after taste of nuts, from moderately to semi-sweet. Colares, going towards the northeast, makes some of the most unusal wines around. The city is found between the hills of Sintra to the east and the Atlantic beaches to the west. The variety of the grape used, a small dark blue one, is grown in the sands of the Atlantic Ocean. As you can imagine, the process is a very arduous one because the roots must be planted in the Mesozoic layer of clay. Thanks to this thick and protective type of land, the grapevines that are used today survived the great plague which hit Europe in 1870. Therefore, the plants and wines are just as they were a hundred years ago. See how much history you can learn ! These wines are half-bodied and leave your mouth with a concentrated flavour. For a more finer and fragranced bouquet, a cleaner and drier flavour although with a slight marked acidity, go for a Bucelas wine. These vineyards are about 25 kilometers northeast of Lisbon, being grown on the clay hillside and in the ground near the valley of the River Trancao. The majority of these wines are young ones and do not spend much time in barrels but are very popular among other countires of the European Community. So, it is up to the traveller to find a goos aged Bucelas. One that has spent quite a few years in Brazilian oak barrels before it has been bottled, making it have a fruitful and more exotic flavour. The aged ones are considered to be among the best white wines in Portugal.

Courtesy Of Oporto

The Portuguese wines are world famous thanks to the oporto wine from Porto, their eminent embassador which has been made since 1830 with the collaboration of the British. With a long and fascinating history, the oporto wine has won its place among other great sweet wines like sauternes, tokai and madeira. it is a reinforced wine whose grapes have been cultivated in the mountainous and rugged terrain of the High Duero. It can be either white or red, although it is the red wine which has been given fame. When a wine is said to be reinforced, it means that the natural conversion of the sugars in the grapes i alcohol have been stopped at a determined moment when the addition of Portuguese grape liqueur has been added. This addition increases the alcoholic concentration between 15 and 24 percent, making it an energetic and moderately sweet wine.

Flying from Lisbon to Madeira

Even if you are not used to drinking many different wines, you cannot help but to have heard about Madeira wine through good friends, at a meeting or on the television. From the 16th century, the island of madeira was frequented by sailors making their long journeys to the new world and used Madeira as a stop-over, to relax in its paradisical atmosphere and, why not, drink its national product. There are four types of wine: Sercial which is the driest, pale in colour with a light body and drunk with an appetizer. Verdelho is a medium dry wine also used for appetizers or with soups. Malmsey wine is the richest with its full-bodied twang, sweet and therefore best with desserts. And lastly is Bual with a smokey savour, medium-bodied and slightly sweet so it would go best with desserts or cheeses. Madeira wine is aged in barrels anywhere from three to sixteen years so that they can be classified on the labels as vintage. Vintage wines are only made from the most select grapes and therefore the weather also plays an important role in each years quality.

And after having done the wine route, flying on down to the most southern region to Faro or Albufeira to soak up some rays laying on the terraces of some of the best hotels as the weather is usually quite nice many months of the year.Or visit the nearby town of tavira, one of the oldest and most enchanting one in the Algarve region, just a stone throw away from Lisbon, Portugal.

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