7 Best Wineries in the Setúbal Peninsula

Written By Mihaela Gutu

Setúbal is primarily renowned for its natural beauties – a myriad of stunning beaches, unbelievably beautiful natural parks, as well as historical, archaeological, and paleontological landmarks.

Besides its natural charm, however, the peninsula of Setúbal is home to world-class wineries. In fact, the region is thought to be the first to exploit Portuguese land for winemaking.

Between the 12th and the 16th centuries, Setúbal was the country’s most important wine-exporting region. Its wines reached Angola, India, Brazil, and many other regions.

Needless to say, the region prides itself on the Setúbal Moscatel, by far the most iconic Portuguese wine. Although we cannot trace its history accurately due to lack of evidence, we know that its worldwide fame was brought by Richard II, who loved the Setúbal Moscatel and imported it regularly.

Its popularity increased significantly during the 17th century thanks to the preference of Louis XIV of France to have the Moscatel available for all dinners and parties.

Why are we even still talking about the history of Setubal wines? Let’s get down to business! Keep reading to discover seven wineries in Setúbal you’ll want to check out if you’re a wine aficionado or even connoisseur!

1. Jose Maria da Fonseca Manor House

Location: Quinta Da Bassaqueira – Estrada Nacional 10, 2925-511 Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, Setúbal, Portugal

With a history spanning almost two centuries, Jose Maria da Fonseca welcomes visitors from all over the world. Its Museum House was built in the 19th century, although it was restored 100 years ago. The territory is also equipped with splendid gardens, which any tourist will delight in!

Your visit will begin with unraveling the company’s history. Then, you’ll step into the wine cellars called Adega dos Teares Novos and Adega da Mata. Some of the wines you’ll see there are over 100 years old!

At the end of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the best wines, which you can learn about beforehand by contacting the Museum House. In addition, there’s also a wine shop, so prepare your wallet because there’s no way you’ll leave without a bottle of one of the best Setúbalense wines!

Photo by Vitor Oliveira (Flickr)

2. Quinta de Alcube

Location: Rua do Alto das Necessidades, n.º 93, Quinta de Alcube 2925-055 Azeitão, Portugal

Are you looking for a winery located in the heart of nature so you can enjoy a glass of the world’s best wines surrounded by serenity and tranquility? If so, Quinta de Alcube is definitely your best choice!

It is located in the Natural Park of Arrabida. Once you turn toward the path that gets you to the winery, nature will embrace you with its beauty and silence. The main road to the winery will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a magical realm. You’ll soon learn why!

If you choose to visit Quinta de Alcube, you can opt for one of the three wine tourism options:

  • Wine cellar visit and wine tasting, which includes two red and one white wine, as well as Alcubissimo if available; it also includes crackers and chips.
  • Wine cellar visit, wine tasting & cheese, which includes two red and two white wines, Alcubissimo if available, as well as sheep cheese, bread, crackers, and jam.
  • Wine cellar visit, wine tasting, cheese, chorizo & ham, which includes two red and two white wines, Alcubissimo if available, sheep cheese, chorizo, ham, bread, and crackers.

Besides unfolding the secrets of winemaking, you’ll enjoy the surroundings, as well as the animals that live on the territory, including some horses! At the end of your visit, you can buy a bottle of quality wine as a souvenir.

3. Quinta do Piloto

Location: Rua Helena Cardoso, Quinta do Piloto, 2950-131, Palmela, Portugal

The history of Quinta do Piloto takes us back to 1900 when Humberto da Silva Cardoso left Portugal for Brazil. Unfortunately, he didn’t find his luck there, so he returned to Palmela, where he started a business in the automotive industry.

Then, Humberto invested the profits from that business into viticulture by buying three estates: Fonte da Barreira, Lau, and Alboal. In addition, he built two wineries – Quinta do Piloto and Adega da Serra. This was the beginning of the Cardoso family wine business.

Shortly after, Casa Agricola Humberto Cardoso became the largest and most renowned wine producer in the region. The Quinta do Piloto project we learn about today appeared in 2008 and is regarded as the culmination of Cardoso’s business plans.

Tourists can book a tour through the Quinta do Piloto wine cellars, during which they can try some of the best wines. There’s no need to worry if you’re looking for a place to stay. Quinta do Piloto offers accommodation services – nicely decorated rooms that provide visitors with an authentic experience of Portuguese culture. It’s only 30 minutes away from the Lisbon airport and 20 minutes from the famous beaches in Arrabida.

Photo by Magnus Reuterdahl (Flickr)

4. Casa Ermelinda Freitas

Location: Rua Manuel João de Freitas, Fernando Pó, 2965-595 Águas de Moura, Portugal

Casa Ermelinda Freitas winery was established a century ago, in 1920. However, the name “Casa Ermelinda Freitas” appeared only in 2002, when the estate extended so much that it had around 100 hectares of vineyards. Until then, the company sold the wine unbranded and in bulk. Over the years, it gained notoriety, becoming one of the country’s most appreciated wine producers.

Today, the Casa Ermelinda estate has 315 hectares and additional territories of roughly 300 hectares owned by small-scale producers with which the winery has purchasing agreements.

If you choose to visit Casa Ermelinda, you’ll learn about various winemaking processes and discover the history of the family that built this prestigious winery. Visitors have access to the vineyards, the winemaking center, the Museum of Memories (the old wine cellar of the family), as well as the Sala de Ouro, where the highest distinctions awarded to the winery are on display.

5. Venâncio da Costa Lima

Location: Rua Venâncio da Costa Lima, 139, 2950-701 Quinta do Anjo, Portugal

Venâncio da Costa Lima dates back to 1914. The business was built by Venâncio, a young man whose first job was in the butchery industry. He worked as a livestock tradesman, which ended up being the key to his success, as it prompted him to diversify his business.

At first, Casa Agricola Venâncio da Costa Lima was selling wine, grain, and olive oil. Only 15 years after its foundation, the winery became the second largest in the area. It is still a family-owned business, producing a myriad of wines, including the famous Setúbal Moscatel, which is now recognized by Muscats du Monde as the world’s best Moscatel.

Visiting Venâncio da Costa Lima winery makes for an insightful experience that opens the doors to the universe of winemaking. Tourists will discover some secrets regarding the production of quality white and red wine, as well as Setubal Moscatel wines.

During the visit, you’ll have the opportunity to taste wines, homemade bread, Azeitão cheese, and smoked sausages – in short, everything you need for an authentic Portuguese wine-culinary experience. After the tour, visitors are guided to the “Old Cellar.” 

6. Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal

Location: Estrada Nacional nº 10, 2925-901 Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, Portugal

A visit to the Bacalhôa wineries takes us back to the 1920s, enriching our trip historically, culturally, and traditionally. The brand is by far among the most renowned and extensive in Portugal, spanning over 1200 hectares of vineyards with 40 different varieties. In addition, the company has four wine cellars.

There are multiple Bacalhôa locations you can choose from, although we recommend starting with the Bacalhôa Adega Museu and Palácio da Bacalhôa in Azeitão.

During your wine tour, you’ll have the possibility to taste the best wines produced by the company. Even more, the tasting room overlooks the estate’s gorgeous Japanese garden, which features several works signed by Niizuma. Can you wish for more?!

Photo by Vitor Oliveira (Flickr)

7. Adega de Palmela

Location: Rua da Adega Cooperativa, 2950-401 Palmela, Portugal

As you’ve probably already noticed, Palmela is a true gem for anyone looking for an authentic wine-tasting experience.

Adega de Palmela was founded in 1955 when it had only 50 members who put in their efforts to produce 1.5 million liters of wine. Today, the winery has over 300 members and 1000 hectares of vineyards. It can reach 8–10 million liters of wine.

Any tourists planning to visit Adega de Palmela will get an inside view of the winemaking process. By the end of the tour, you’ll reach the wine cellar, where you’ll experience the unique pleasure of wine tasting and admire the oak barrels.

The tour costs only 6EUR and includes three types of wines you can taste. If you want to try some regional products or premium wines, the fee goes up a little.

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