Situated in Alentejo, this palace-like 18th century house is a landmark, not only for its beauty but also for its history and the top-quality wine produced there. Wine has been produced in this estate for more than 150 years, but it’s at the start of the new millennium that Júlio Bastos embraced this new project: Dona Maria Wines.
The ancient estate winery has been restored, keeping the 19th century marble “lagares” where selected grapes are vinified using the traditional foot treading method, and where the famous Alicante Bouschet is produced.
This huge, sun-drenched area, covering much of the southern half of Portugal, has in recent years become an important source of bold, ripe and fruity red wines. It is no wonder that Alentejo attained its first sub-regions in 1989. Portugal’s entry into the EU brought long-overdue investment into vineyards and cellars.
Modern technology, specifically temperature control, made it possible to make good quality white wines as well as rich reds. The Alentejo region has some wonderful old vines that produce a lower yield (but higher quality) of characterful wines.