How dry and yet fructuous can land be? Alentejo is an oxymoron region. The relentless heat of the exhaustive summer is not capable of destroying the intense flavours of grapes that produce a solid wine. The aspiring vinhos are not the only prestigious product of Alentejo: next to olive, wheat and citrus fruit the cork industry is the major income source. This region is the world’s largest producer of cork products – today far away from being a manufacturer of ordinary wine bottle closures. For individuals not used to the dry and hot climate it is a wonder, how farming under the merciless sun is possible at all. Moreover, the heat should not detain from discovering the distinctive features of this region.
Alentejo is rough, unpretentious and yet a beauty beyond comparison. Though geographically the largest of the five mainland regions, there are only slightly over half a million people living in Alentejo. Right in the solitary plains you easily feel like far far away from any human civilization. Life here is what it has used to be for centuries. Most people rely on agriculture or livestock. For me, Alentejo is a place of silence and rest. A space, that easily makes you forget what lies past and that lets you live the moment.