João Portugal Ramos is born out of love for this land, and we offer a genuine experience. People live the authentic winery lifestyle: if they come during the harvest, they can help pick grapes and stomp them later. If they want to cook, they will do so with seasonal ingredients. We suggest you take at least half a day to visit us. The best way to grasp the energy of this place is by spending some time, tasting wines calmly, and eating a meal.
My connection to Alentejo comes before the wine. I've always hunted since I was young, at first with my father. I always loved Alentejo and stayed. When it comes to winemaking, Alentejo has changed a lot but its beauty remains the same. It's one of the most protected areas in Portugal when it comes to the environment. I realised the potential of winemaking, so I decided to start the business.
Alentejo marks us forever. I usually say I'm already an Alentejano considering I've been here for so long, my children were born and raised here, and I still work here. It's a region that draws people because of the peaceful life everyone cherishes so much. At the same time, we have the advantage of being relatively close to Lisbon.
I'm happy to see how motivated my children are to carry on with my work and improve it over time.
Our story and mission
I was born in Lisbon, but started my work career in Alentejo as a consultant in several wineries of the region in 1981. I remember that at that time few restaurants in Portugal had Alentejo wines on the menu. I travelled the whole country giving wine bottles to restaurants so they could get to know our wines. Nowadays, Alentejo's presence is the strongest.
No matter how much the business grows in other parts of the country, those who saw it start and grow here will always be very fond of this region.
João Portugal Ramos begins in 1992 without being too ambitious and not knowing where it could reach as a company. We grew as the Alentejo wines became popular and because my name was more famous than I expected, considering the many years I had worked as a consultant.
Twenty six years later, the company grew sustainably and we're still a family business. My favourite achievement was to show Alentejo to the world and make it a top destination in Portugal. A lot of the work in this business is done behind-the-scenes, that you don't notice at once.
Alentejo wines stand out for their diversity and ours aren’t an exception. Year after year, we try to minimise the human intervention in our vineyards, making sure we produce a rich, high-quality product. Do you doubt is? Nothing like tasting it for yourself!
When it comes to the landscapes, Autumn and Winter put up quite a show. The vineyards are the prettiest in October and November. When it rains in Alentejo, the scent of wet dirt the next day is one of a kind! To be honest, as long as the grapes are in the winery already, the first rains after the Summer always feel good.
Cities are well-preserved, with untouched historical centres. We visit Estremoz, and the city’s old part is the same as it was 200 years ago, and that’s amazing.
Our soil is made of clay, schist, granite, limestone… We have vineyards 50 metres from the ocean and others close to Spain, 600 metres above or close to sea level. It’s this diversity that makes the wine so special and makes everyone produce a different wine.
People are unique. Portuguese are friendly, and the Alentejo people represent the best of the Portuguese, with a unique sense of humour, and a vocabulary that will make you cry laughing… They’re genuine, straightforward, and it’s worth it to know such special people.
Alentejo is vast, and there is so much to do. The top things are visiting the wineries, going to the Estremoz market on Saturdays (the vegetables taste incredible), and stroll on the Costa Alentejana. There is nothing bad about Alentejo!