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Vinho de Talha - How Wines Are Made the Ancient Way in Portugal's Alentejo


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Vinho de Talha - Drinking Wines Made in the Roman Way
vinho de talha, pais das uvas, restaurant

Huge Pots of Vinho De Talha line the walls of the Adega Regional Pais das Uvas Restaurant

James Martin

You can hardly avoid the Roman presence in Portugal's Alentejo region. It's not just the presence of Roman farm house ruins, each located within a few hundred meters of a modern farm house. Walk into any typical village "Adega" or "Taberna" and you'll likely be dwarfed by rows of massive amphorae or wine pots. Called "talha", these pots may be mere decoration--or they may actually contain up to 1000 liters of house-made wine called "vinho de talha" made exactly the way Romans made wine.

Pictured below is the Adega Regional Pais das Uvas, a restaurant which produces the vinho de talha it serves as a house wine along with traditional country fare from the Alentejo region of Portugal.

The owners were kind enough to allow me to watch the process by which grapes become vinho de talha, a wine which locals claim contains more vitamins, more aroma and more body. I can't vouch for the vitamins, but the wine poured at Pais das Uvas was certainly fragrant and deep, with an amazingly clarity, considering the simplicity of a process that doesn't include mechanical filtering or fining.

Follow along as we take you into the world of vinho de talha production. At the end of the journey you'll find information on visiting the restaurant and other tabernas serving vinho de talha and notes on where you can actually see people stomping grapes for top commercial wines in the Alentejo.

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