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Tejo

Wine-growing area in the centre of Portugal northeast of Lisbon. Until 2009 it was called Ribatejo. It is the only inland area between Extremadura in the west and Alentejo in the east. The fertile alluvial soils near the river are mainly used to grow vegetables, fruit and rice. The area is therefore also known as the "Garden of Lisbon". For a long time, the river Tagus, which strongly shapes the landscape, was the traditional main supply route for bringing products from the interior to the port city of Lisbon. The huge area covers a total of 25,000 hectares on both banks of the river that gave its name to the region, which is classified as an IGP area (Land Wines) under the name of the Tagus (formerly Ribatejana).

The best quality areas for viticulture are located further away from the river bed in the hinterland on barren, sandy soils with granite and slate subsoil. Around 2,500 hectares are classified as the Do Tejo DOC area (until 2009 it was called Ribatejo). Since the DOC classification in 2000 (still under the old designation) there has been a qualitative upswing. This is divided into six sub-areas: Almeirim, Cartaxo (part of which is also in Extremadura), Chamusca, Coruche, Santarém and Tomar. The climate is characterised by hot and dry summers. In winter, some areas require artificial irrigation.

The main red wine varieties are Alfrocheiro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan(Mazuelo), Merlot, Moreto(Camarate), Periquita(Castelão Francês), Pinot Noir, Syrah, Tinta Amarela(Trincadeira Preta), Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Miúda(Graciano) and Touriga Nacional. The main white wine varieties are Arinto, Arinto Roxo, Bical, Boal Branco, Esgana Cão(Sercial), Assario(Malvasia Fina), Chardonnay, Fernão Pires, Jampal, Malvasia Rei(Palomino), Rabo de Ovelha, Sauvignon Blanc, Seara Nova, Tália(Trebbiano Toscano), Tamarez, Trincadeira das Pratas and Vital. In the past, simple mass wines were produced here for rapid consumption, which were served openly or marketed in large packages. Well known producers are Bright Brothers (Fiuza & Bright), Falua, Quinta da Alorna, Quinta da Lagoalva, Quinta do Casal Branco and Terra de Lobos.

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