RKS 2023 Wine: “The Wines of the Algarve”: Escaping the Sun and Sea Conundrum

I attended the Wine and Tourism Week in late February in Porto, Portugal. The direction seemingly taken by many exhibitors was to move away from promoting wine and broaden it to encompass not only wine but culture and heritage, leisure activities and gastronomic experiences therefore giving a broader definition of wine tourism. Wine is not all but a gateway to other touristic experiences.

The Algarve Wine Region is in the southernmost part of Portugal, along the coast of the Atlantic. Despite its coastal location, the region has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild winters which allows for the production of high-quality wines. The Algarve is known for both red and white wines which are made from a blend of local and international grape varieties. The Algarve has a unique terroir which includes the influence of the ocean and the rolling hills that provide ample sunshine and protection from the wind. 80% of the wine produced is consumed within the region.

Now mention the Algarve and most people think sun and beach! I have been in the Algarve in 1978 and 2012 and that quaint fishing village with packs of stray dogs now is high rise heaven packed with Brits enjoying their baked beans, eggs and toast at buffet breakfasts. And yes Irish pubs in the Algarve? Yes. Certainly there is more to the Algarve than this! Tourist authorities in the Algarve and in Lisbon are trying to persuade you while you can have the sun and the beach there is wine, culture and gastronomy awaiting you. God help us all if the Algarve becomes a Malagouf!

As Joăo Fernades President of the Algarve Tourism Board has stated,” The Algarve Tourism Board has put wine, along with gastronomy and heritage, at the centre of its marketing strategy as a priority product for the development of local tourism. The entire region is aware of the need to revitalise the sector, promoting its wines and wine tourism projects and positioning itself as a multi-faceted destination with a tourism offering that far exceeds the traditional “Sun and Sea” product.”

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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