Until October 2009, I had no idea there was so much more to wine in Portugal than Port: in fact I knew practically nothing about wine from Portugal except that I liked Port.
And then I was selected by Jo Diaz and Enoforum wine to attend the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon followed by travel throughout the Alentejo region to taste wine and experience the culture and countryside before returning to Lisbon where we saw a few sights and then flew home. During the conference I visited a cork forest and learned about the production of corks from tree to table, discovered how fabulous the cuisine of Portugal is, experienced the deep appreciation they have for the literary arts, explored castles and gazed on Roman aqueducts, and of course, developed a palate for wine from Portugal that is not Port.
And a whole lot more including a reasonable explanation for why we in the US are so unfamiliar with wine from Portugal: because they have always drank all of it themselves!
Until recently, the Portuguese drank up almost all of the wine they were able to produce. It is only recently that they have been able to make enough wine to export.
To state that the trip was transformative is an understatement. Continue reading