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Fine Wine and Marble: It is always 11 O'Clock in Borba

Set on the plains beneath the Serra de Borba hills, Borba is rich in marble, olive oil, cheese and monuments  (mainly of  the religious variety). Just under 2 hours from Lisbon, 40 minutes from Évora, 40 minutes from Badajoz, Spain, Borba is a busy town, full of decorative churches and antique shops.

According to legend, the name Borba comes from a river fish – the barbel – abundant in a pond that would exist in the place where the ancient village was built.

Today the historic town offers the Fonte das Bicas fountain, the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Soveral church , the Church of São Bartolomeu, the Chapel of Senhor Jesus dos Aflitos, the Passos da Paixão of Christ and a few towers and walls of its medieval castle.

But, above all, it is rich in wine. The wine is produced in the Borba region, probably since Roman times, it is still complementary to other agricultural products.

In the 18th century, wine was already a source of  wealth for those who produced it. Borba’s traditional architecture reflects the culture of wine, with the existence of several manor houses and palatial winegrowers' homes with an architectural style characteristic of the 17th and 18th centuries, defined by an upper floor for living and a ground floor for the traditional winery.

Today, Borba is the second largest wine-growing sub-region in the Alentejo. Here white wine is produced  aromatic, fresh and harmonious, and soft ruby or garnet red wine, balanced and with intense aroma of very ripe red fruits.

If the Alentejo has unique characteristics for the creation of great wines, here in the area of marble we find the perfect marriage between marble soil and various grape varieties, which give the Borba wines a characteristic flavor all their own.

Borba celebrates its wines on the day of São Martinho (November 11). Since 1992, the Festa da Vinha e do Vinho wine festival, has been dedicated to the promotion of wine and vineyards, but also to the cuisine, culture, landscape richness, and genuine products.

Borba is also known for "Making as if it were eleven” - or "Fazer as Onze” a tradition that preserves and streamlines cuisine and wine, but also friendship, solidarity, identity and belonging.

Fazer as Onze is the playful period of the day, in which a few hours are dedicated to socializing with friends, drinking wine and snacking. These get-togethers  are sometimes accompanied by poetry or singing of Alentejo songs. From one tavern you pass to another, until you make the circuit of all the taverns in town. Traditionally, the ritual was performed on Saturdays and Sundays, and currently it is held every day, as long as enough friends join. 

The expression "Fazer as Onze” comes from the time when socializing begins, eleven o'clock in the morning. If what we have told you has piqued your interest, come with the Marble Route and discover Borba and experience the city's wine and cuisine and, of course, meet its people and "Fazer as Onze” on the Food Walking Tour in Borba.

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