Alentejo – countering the stereotype

Esteban's Vinha Marvão

A group of Portuguese producers are breaking the mould. Pictured here, Susana Esteban's Marvão vineyard in the Serra do São Mamede national park (courtesy of Susana Esteban).

The Alentejo represents about one-third of mainland Portugal yet is home to about 6% of the country’s population. It grows two-thirds of the national production of rice and more than 80% of the wheat, barley and oats. Most of Portugal’s cork forests, which produce about half the world’s supply of cork, are planted here. Colourful images of the region tend to focus on vast flat or rolling plains and expansive vineyards under the...