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Michelin Stars over Alqueva Lake

Portugal’s Alqueva Lake is a destination for its dark sky at night:
Without light pollution, and often without clouds - Alentejo offers a wondrous view of the night sky and thousands of stars.

But the brightest star may be Esporão, which is more than just a winery and olive oil producer located in Portugal. It is widely recognized for its high-quality wines, extra virgin olive oils, and commitment to sustainable practices. The company also offers eno-tourism experiences for visitors to explore their vineyards, winemaking facilities, and olive groves. And, its understated and intimate restaurant shines bright with a Michelin Star.

The Esporão winery is known around the globe for its excellent wines.
Esporão produces a wide range of wines, including red, white, and rosés, all made with pride and insight. They focus on using traditional Portuguese grape varieties, as well as some international ones, to create unique and authentic wines. The winemaking process combines traditional methods with modern techniques to ensure the highest quality.

In addition to winemaking, Esporão also makes olive oils. They have extensive olive groves where they cultivate different olive varieties, such as Cobrançosa, Arbequina, and Galega. These olives are carefully harvested and processed to produce only extra virgin olive oils of exceptional quality. Esporão's olive oils are known for their fruity flavors, balanced bitterness, and peppery finish.

And, in the middle of the grapes and olives, Esporão offers eno-tourism experiences, providing a unique opportunity to explore the vineyards and olive groves. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the winery and olive oil plant, learning about the production processes and the history of Esporão. They also can enjoy tastings, where they can sample different wines as well as the olive oils produced on the huge estate. The tours can include scenic walks through the vineyards, allowing visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of the region. And, for a lucky few, there are elegant rooms to stay the night.

But, the highlight is where it all comes together:  the restaurant. In 2022, the restaurant won a Michelin Star and a Green Star, which was renewed in 2023.Simply appointed, elegant seating, and amazing vineyard and lake views - this is not a pretentious place: No caviar, gold leaf or boasting - just honest, elevated local ingredients.
Choose from the 5 or 10 course meal - accompanied by the perfect wines.

The cuisine uses modern thinking  centered on local  products – and is rightly seasonal. The ingredients  come from local producers as well as their organic gardens. The cuisine . And, the kitchen is completely sustainable and has zero-waste.

In fact, all of  Esporão has a strong focus on sustainability and operates under environmentally smart practices. They employ organic and biodynamic farming techniques, minimizing the use of chemicals and promoting biodiversity in their vineyards and olive groves. Water is used sparingly. Their commitment to sustainable agriculture has earned them recognition and awards for their efforts in preserving the environment.

Visiting Esporão's winery, olive oil plant, eatery and celebrating in eno-tourism is an excellent way to discover the values and way of life of the Alentejo region while sharing in the pride and craftsmanship behind Esporão's wines and olive oils.

Reguengos de Monsaraz is a big wine town set amid  beautiful landscapes, vineyards, and historic places. Reguengos de Monsaraz is particularly famous for its great wines, being the largest wine producer  in the Alentejo.

The town is located not far from the Alqueva Lake. Nearby is the walled town of Monsaraz, and the pottery town of Corval.

But ask any Portuguese and they will tell you that Reguengos de Monsaraz is known for its wines. The surrounding lands are dotted with vineyards and wineries, offering wine tasting tours and a chance to learn about wine making traditions.  The town also offers a range of restaurants, cafes, and accommodation options to cater to visitors.

To the west, the Ervideira Winery combines tradition with innovation.
The winery dates back to 1880. The winery’s vineyards cover an area of approximately 160 hectares. The vineyards thrive with a unique terroir and favorable climate conditions: hot, dry summers and mild winters, creating a favorable environment for growing grapes.

Ervideira Winery cultivated indigenous Portuguese grape varieties including Antão Vaz, Aragonês, Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouschet.
They also experiment with international grape varieties like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, blending them with local grapes.

One of the winery's real achievements is the production of "Ervideira Invisível," a white wine made from red grapes. This innovative approach involves removing the grape skins immediately after harvesting, resulting in a white wine with a unique character.

Apart from its dedication to winemaking, Ervideira Winery is also committed to sustainable practices. They employ environmentally friendly techniques in the vineyard management and winemaking processes, aiming to minimize their  footprint.

The winery offers guided tours, allowing guests to discover the vineyards and try some very cool wines from the Alentejo region.

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