The Tejo wine region was where the first vines were planted during Roman times. This region was originally known as Ribatejo, but in 2009 the name was shortened to Tejo. This name pays tribute to the river that runs through the landscape of the region. The Tejo wine region perfectly showcases Portugal’s wonderful ability to produce top quality and premium wines. A trip to this wine region allows everyone the opportunity to discover the roots of the Portuguese viticulture. From rolling vineyards to beath taking natural scenery, endless forests and rows of olive groves, Tejo provides the perfect wine tourism experience for all visitors.
Spend time in the Tejo wine region to experience the community spirit and tradition involved in Portuguese winemaking.
Wine Producing Areas of Tejo
Tejo is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Portugal. The first vines planted in the region date as far back as the Roman times.
The Tejo wine region is made of three different wine-producing zones. These zones are Bairro in the North, Charneca in the South and Campo which sits along the river. These three zones are further divided into six sub-regions of Almeirim, Cartaxo, Chamusca, Coruche, Santarém and Tomar.
Where is Tejo wine region?
The Tejo wine region is located in central Portugal, just inland from the famous city of Lisbon. The region is surrounded by Setubal, Alentejo, Lisboa, and Bairrada wine regions.
Diversity of Tejo Wine Region
The terroir of the Tejo region has a direct influence on the high quality of the wines produced there. The land of the region is strongly influenced by the Tejo River which runs through it. Because of the vast size of the Tejo region, the terroir is different in the different wine growing zones. This also means that these regions are able to produce different types of wines.
The wine making techniques used by the wine makers of the Tejo region tend to be steeped in Portugese wine making tradition. In many cases grapes are still treaded by foot. The harvest is mainly conducted by the local community while singing traditional folk songs. At the end of the wine making process the Tejo wine bottles are sealed using cork from the surrounding cork forests.
Today, Tejo wine region is experiencing wine renaissance with investment in modern equipments and commintment to produce quality wines with bance of old traditions and modern tecniques.
White wines of the Tejo wine region are smooth and easy to drink. Local grape varieties aromatic Fernao Pires and Arinto produce region’s most refreshing white wines. The white wines produced in the Tejo region have a high level of acidity with both floral and tropical aromas.
The most famous wines of the Tejo wine region are the locally produced red wines. Red wines of Tejo have an incredibly beautiful deep red colour. They are aromatic, pleasant wines characterised by smooth tannins.
In more recent times, the Tejo wine region has also begun producing high-quality liqueurs and sparkling wines.
Wineries to Visit in Tejo
Quinta Monteiro De Matos
The Quinta Monteiro De Matos is a family-run winery and estate that was established in 1975. The winery produces a range of wines from entry-level to premium wines – all of which are sealed with the Quinta Monteiro De Matos quality stamp. Visit the Quinta Monteiro De Matos for a unique wine tasting experience and a meal at their famous restaurant.
The Quinta Da Ribeirinha was first opened in 1940. The winery was built out of a local family’s passion for Portuguese wine. Today, it is one of the most popular wineries in the Tejo region. The vineyards of the Quinta Da Ribeirinha provide the perfect location for a wine tasting experience and a meal at the fantastic estate restaurant.
Explore Cultural Heritage of Tejo through its Cities
Santarem – The Quintessential Gothic City
The city of Santarem is a beautiful medieval city that is located within the Santarem District of the Tejo wine region. Santarem is made even more beautiful by its sweeping views of the Tejo river. This city is most well-known and visited for its gothic art and architecture. It is hard to believe that a city of this size is home to one of the most beautiful Gothic churches than any other city in Portugal. No visit to Santarem would be complete without seeing the Seminar Church, the Marvila Church, the Cadacas Towner, the Archaeological Museum and the Museological Core of Time. It is also worthwhile to pay a visit to the Convent of Christ.
Chamusca – A picture Perfect Whitewashed Town
The picturesque town of Chamusca is located on the banks of the Tagus River. Thanks to the river, this area is extremely fertile and Chamusca has become a centre for agriculture. Chamusca draws visitors from across Portugal on a regular basis. Most of these visitors come to experience the local traditional festivals and the local bullfights. When visiting Chamusca don’t miss the chance to try some of the local delights. These include eel stew, and a range of local sweet treats.
Experience the history of the Knights Templar
The Convento de Cristo in Tejo is one of the most unique attractions of the area. This attraction is located in the city of Tomar which is in the Santarem District of Tejo. The Convento de Cristo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This convent was founded by the Templar Knights in the year 1118. A visit to the Convento de Cristo gives one access to the chapels and cloisters of the convent. Visits to into the convent are available every day and tickets are available for purchase at the site.
Natural Environment of Tejo
The natural environment of the Tejo wine region is dominated by the flowing and meandering Tejo river. This beautiful body of water provides fertile land for the growth of vineyards, cork trees and olive groves. The natural beauty of the Tejo region provides the perfect playground for all nature lovers and visitors.
Reserva Natural do Estuario do Tejo – The Straw Sea
The Reserva Natural do Estuario do Tejo is a natural protected area that travels along the course of the Tagus River. The estuary within the Reserva Natural do Estuario do Tejo has been renamed the Straw Sea. The nature reserve provides wonderful sceneries including flocks of bright pink flamingos. The end of the Reserva Natural do Estuario do Tejo is where one will find the marshland where the horses and bulls used in Portuguese bullfights are reared. For those looking to visit the Reserva Natural do Estuario do Tejo, it is possible to do so by car, bicycle or foot. There are also bot trips available for booking.
Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes
The gardens of the Knights Templar
The Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes is a sight to behold. This incredible gem of the Tejo region is a garden that spans over 39 hectares of land. The gardens are linked to the Convento de Cristo which was founded by the Order of Christ. The garden was once the area used by the monks when they needed to think and pray. Today the garden is perfectly manicured and provides a peaceful getaway from the busy city. The garden is open to the public daily from 8 am – 8 pm.
Experience the Joy of Portuguese Cuisine
There is no better place than the Tejo wine region to experience the joys of Portuguese cuisine. The Tejo region is well known for its fresh fruits and vegetables. Take a trip through the Tejo region for an authentic experience of excellent Portuguese cuisine. Don’t forget to pair your meals with excellent local wines to make them even more perfect.
Pampilho – Sweet, buttery pastry treats
Pampilho is a traditional dish of the Santarem District. This delicious treat is made with buttery pastry that is filled with a creamy, egg yolk mixture. Before the pastry is filled, the egg yolk mixture is flavoured with cinnamon and other spices. When visiting the Tejo region, join the locals and enjoy Pampilho for breakfast or as a mid-day treat.
Sopa de Pedro – Portuguese Stone Soup
The name Sopa de Pedro directly translates into the stone soup. This delicious local dish is made with sausage, beans, pork belly, potatoes and pigs’ ears. Different versions of the stone soup can also include cabbage, carrots and pasta. The local people of the Tejo region believe that once in history a monk wanted to make a soup of stones and water. When he asked a local family for these ingredients, they gave him pork, sausages, vegetables and beans to flavour his soup – the result being the now-famous stone soup.