The boutique wineries – Algarve Plus Magazine, July 2023

The boutique wineries – Portugal is home to some of the world’s most renowned wines, but outside of the big famous brands, there are some exciting offerings from the small, often family-owned vineyards.

Meet two of Portugal’s talented artisanal makers.

Winners – The aim of the Algarve Wine Contest program is to award bottled wines from the Algarve and encourage the production of quality wines across the region. Winners of the 15th edition of the Algarve Wine Commission’s annual wine contest have been announced.

Agenda – And finally, I look forward to seeing you on my Alentejo wine tour at the end of July, filled with countless wine tastings, trips, experiences and fun.

I am happy to share that the July issue of the Algarve Plus Magazine has already been published, with my new articles and tours!
The magazine is readable online or downloaded for free here.


Or read here the whole article:


The boutique wineries

Portugal is home to some of the world’s most renowned wines, whether you’re talking reds, whites, or sparkling wines. However, outside of the well-known brands, some of the best wine comes from smaller, often family-owned vineyards. There are numerous, quality, diverse, and interesting wineries that fall in this category within the Portuguese wine world as well.

But many wonder what makes a boutique winery different from other wineries. Let’s find out what exactly are these much-beloved wines like.

‘Boutique’ is one of the many adjectives used to describe wine and wineries worldwide, and yet, few really know what it means to produce a boutique wine or be a boutique winery.

Winemakers, viticulturists, and wine enthusiasts all have a different slant on what exactly constitutes a boutique winery. Members of the wine community generally agree a boutique-class winery is classified as one with a production count somewhere in the 2.500 to 5.000 cases per year.  Some believe boutique classification includes those wineries producing all the way up to 10.000 cases per year.

Generally, there are three fundamental aspects that identify boutique wineries:

  1. the process of creation and production of the grape,
  2. the care and the harvest of the grapes,
  3. unlike commercial wines, boutique wine is 100% hand-treated from the planting, watering, cleaning, and picking, to bottling and labeling of each wine.

Of course, this does not mean that a boutique wine is better or worse than a commercial wine.


These wineries are typically family-owned by wine-passionate married couples or business partners who have decided to try their hand at the game of winemaking. Sometimes wine-fanatic celebrities and sports figures have also ventured into the boutique winery business.

One key characteristic that sets boutique wineries apart is the size of the vineyard.

A boutique wine is typically one of a small-run or limited-production. This small production affords boutique wineries the ability to pay personal attention to each and every vine. They minimally till their soil to preserve the micro-organisms active underground.

The moment of harvest at a boutique winery is carefully tailored to ensure each vine is harvested at peak ripeness. Every vine is hand-picked once the grapes have reached their optimal ripeness to produce a boutique wine of lower alcohol, higher acidity, and optimal natural flavors.


One of the factors that make these wineries compelling is there are no limitations imposed on the art of high-quality wine production. This frees up the winery owners to make their very uniquely individual wines with exceptional individual styles. They have a passionate focus on the regional grapes, their unique character, and their flavor. They focus on the varietal the soil is best suited for rather than produce one for the sake of experimentation or simply for turning a profit.

The other great thing about boutique wines is that they tend to be made with fewer chemicals. Many big wine companies use chemicals to produce larger quantities of wine and to preserve them longer. Because boutique wines focus on smaller batches, you will find that fewer additives and chemicals are used.

So, boutique wine means exceptional wine made by talented artisans. And, many of them are multi-awarded nationally, even internationally.  So, if you want something different with a creative spirit, make sure your wine cellar has at least a few boutique wines. With this, you get to support small, family-owned Portuguese businesses as well.


And, the next time you visit a wine region like Alentejo, for example, make sure you stop by a boutique winery. The atmosphere is great, and you will find incredibly friendly service.

Let me offer you two of them to taste now!



Já Te Disse is a project that aims to replicate the greatness of Burgundy wines in Alentejo.

Everything started on a property bought by the brothers Pedro and Rui Patrício as a leisure place, in Estremoz. Then a trip to Burgundy combined with an enormous passion for wine was the starting point for this project by Pedro Patrício that triggered the long-dormant dream: to produce high-quality wines in Portugal!

When he returned, he planted a one-hectare vineyard with 36 lines near Estremoz, in the Alentejo wine region. His dream was of creating a boutique winery with small vineyards, producing wines in limited editions with limited bottles.

In addition to the use of a burgundy truncated cone-shaped bottle, these wines have labels designed by Siza Vieira, the greatest architect of all time in Portugal, and the star of the brand is Já Te Disse, grandfather Ramiro’s mongrel dog, who has always had a strong connection to the family. Vieira portrayed them on the labels he made, one with a dog and the other with a hunter.

The harvest is completely manual and carried out at dawn so that the grapes arrive at the cellar with all their freshness preserved.

The first wines were launched in 2021 and each bottle of wine is numbered and manually labelled.

Since they are very committed to the protection of the environment and sustainability, they use Amorim cork stoppers in the bottles. Amorim was always committed to sustainability, producing in a sustainable manner and based on a sustainable raw material – cork.


Já Te Disse – Alicante Bouschet

Their special edition of red wine was made from 100% of the Alicante Bouschet grape variety in the vintage of 2020. Intense smoky-sweet aromas on the nose with very ripe black fruits. Sweet tobacco and black pepper, mixed with black plum, black cherry, and blackberry.

Dense and silky on the palate. A young and contained wine with enormous potential. Excellent structure, strong acidity, and robust but somewhat raw tannins. Persistent finish, revealing the aging potential of the wine.

The wine should be served at a temperature of 16-18 °C. Pairing well with barbecue, grilled vegetables, or roast beef.



Já Te Disse Rosé

The brand launched its first limited edition of rosé wine from the vintage of 2021, which is a blend of the Aragonez (40%), Touriga Nacional (30%), and Syrah (30%) grape varieties.

The wine presents a beautiful salmon color in the glass. Fine and lively aromas reveal a complex profile of forest fruits on the nose, raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry. With a hint of tobacco and green peppercorn.

On the palate, it is a very elegant, slightly fruity wine, with notes of aromatic herbs. Elevated acidity and an easy-drinking character. A fresh and juicy wine with a medium persistent finish.

It should be served at a temperature of 10-12 ºC. Pairing well with white and cured meat, harvested vegetables, or dishes with aromatic green herbs.

Excellent rosé wine with a flavor, freshness, and lightness worthy of this summer. Highly recommended even for warm days!



Azamor Wines

Their journey started in 1998 when they acquired the estate, where their first wine, Azamor 2003, was produced from the oldest sectors of the vineyard.

Their aim is to improve the wines every vintage, year after year.  And every season, their unique fruity, complex, beautifully balanced, and elegant wines continue to please clients all over the world.

They also love to welcome visitors to the estate where everybody can taste their magnificent range of wines.

Offering stunning views, Azamor has a total of 260 hectares, 25 hectares are planted with vines, 30 hectares with cork oaks and pines, 140 hectares recently modernized with 50-year-old olive groves, and 62 hectares of Portuguese oak trees home to some Lusitano Horses.

There are four types of Portuguese grape varieties planted – Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouschet – and three international varieties – Syrah, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.

Over the last vintages, Azamor wines continue to maintain their unique character and quality. The harvest is made by hand, and the winery’s equipment is modern. They use their own natural fermentation which means the yeast from their own grapes, so that the Azamor wine collection reflects the authentic characteristics of each variety and its terroir.


Azamor – Petit Verdot

The Petit Verdot grape origins from France where it traditionally makes up the blended wines.

At Azamor, this grape is carefully hand selected and picked before being transported to the winery.

With wonderfully vibrant color, this is an elegant red wine with a beautifully delicate fruit aroma, soft fresh fruit flavors, and a classic French oak barrel lift. The wine has an excellent length and finishes with soft ripe tannins.

Pairing perfectly with game dishes, venison, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, and steak. As well as with the typical Portuguese desserts filled with egg cream.



Icon d’Azamor

An exceptional red blend of the Alicante Bouschet (40%), Touriga Franca (40%), and Petit Verdot (20%) grape varieties. The grapes were handpicked at harvest. The skin of the grapes was left before pressing and malolactic fermentation was started. Aged for 24 months in our cellar in French and American oak barrels.

An elegant and smooth wine, full of fruity aromas with a dense plum flavor giving way to a velvety finish. A perfect wine to be enjoyed with friends on special occasions, or pairing well with all meat dishes.


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