Beginning of March 2016 we did a two days trip to Alentejo and Beja, about 130 km from Vila Real de Santo Antonio. Before the trip I made some inquiries through ”Vinhos do Alentejo” (http://www.vinhosdoalentejo.pt/produtores.php?id=2), I selected some vineyards around Beja and when leaving Vila Real de Santo Antonio March 3 in the morning we had a rough plan where to go.
So we started after breakfast going north on N122, we drove through a wonderful landscape, half way to Beja we passed the Natural Park of Vale Guadiana and the city Mértola nicely situated at the banks of river Guadiana.
We arrived at the first destination; the wine-yard ”Monte Novo e Figueirinha” just outside Beja around noon, that makes both wine and olive oil. We had a look at the plants for the grapes as well as the olive trees and received a guided tour in the winery as well as the plant for pressing the olive oil. We finished with some wine tasting of an excellent red ”Fonte Mouro” from 2003 and of course we bought some different wines that we are enjoying at special occasions.
José that guided us at Monte Novo e Figueirinha recommended us to have the lunch at ”Adega 25 de Abril” in the very center of Beja, a restaurant you normally don’t find yourself. Here we enjoyed a wonderful mixed grill with of course a Fonte Mouro from 2005 and the best desert ever; made of ricotta cheese and almonds. The dessert was made of a secret recipe in the kitchen and our only disappointment was that the dessert was server with a big spoon! We would recommend everybody to eat it with a teaspoon so that it lasts longer!
Then we went to the pre-booked overnight stay at the wine-yard ”Herdade dos Grous” just some 15-20 minutes south of Beja. We checked
in, had a walk around the hotel and some other buildings, horse stables, etc. enjoyed the tranquility on the terrace outside the room. In the evening we enjoyed a three course dinner with a good wine from the house.
Next day after breakfast we went further south and on the way we made a short stop at the vineyard Casa de Santo Vitória and had a quick look – they offer also a hotel, guided tours around the winery and other activities.
Our goal was to arrive at ”Herdade da Malhadinha Nova” and finally we found it just in time to decide for lunch but first we got a guided tour through the estate with horses, cattle, etc. and finally the winery. The lunch was very good, of course with a wine of the house and an experience we can recommend, both wine and food is culinary, and needless to say that we filled the care with some more wine.
On the way back to Vila Real de Santo Antonio we stopped at the wine-yard ”Herdade dos Lagos”, growing grapes for wine, olives, lamb, etc. and all organic. We have previously bought their wine and enjoyed it very much and after some tasting here we filled up the car with some more boxes.
Then we headed back home with lots of good memories from Alentejo and for sure there will be more trips and then maybe a little bit more north in the heart of Alentejo to Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.