It can be challenging to find limited production Portuguese wines. However many wine bars in Lisbon, Portugal showcase a variety of them. This is why its so wonderful to explore these traditional wine bars. And there are many to choose from in the city.
Vestigius Wine Bar is one of the treasures. It is located in the historic part of the city, along the waterfront with unobstructed views of the Tagus river.
Portugal is home to over 250 varieties of grapes and two UNESCO protected wine heritage regions. Yet, despite this abundance of natural resources for wine making, the majority of the country’s most captivating wines remain unknown outside its borders. One reason for this is the majority of the country’s wine production is very small scale. These micro-wineries produce as few as 600 bottles a year. They also operate with restricted budgets and zero international exports. As a result, their wines remain relatively unknown worldwide.
A ‘boutique’ style wine bar, like Vestigious, acquaints visitors with some of the lesser-known, harder to find labels in Portugal.
Ambiance of Vestigius Wine Bar
Vestigious opened late 2013. It was once an abandoned warehouse now renovated with exposed and distressed brick walls. It has a laid back, bohemian ambiance. Mismatched silk back baroque style chairs and bench style couches invite guests to linger and converse among each other while large candles drip color wax that accumulates over decades.
João Chambel, Sommelier
João Chambel, Sommelier and Manager of Vestigious helps people learn about the different wines that he curates for Vestigius. He always begins by asking guests the type of wine they enjoy drinking. Then he taps into his vast knowledge of wines and suggests a new variety to try. Most often it is a limited production wine that is exclusive to Vestigious.
I requested a Malbec style wine, and he recommended a 100% Touriga Nacional. In Portugal, although they have a Malbec grape, they apparently only use it as a varietal blend.
I was delighted to discover the Touriga Nacional as it is considered the best red grape variety in Portugal and is also the most well known. Just as João suggested, it was very similar to Malbec
«with a full body and a touch of elegance»
Vestigious offers 300 different varieties in a selection of both national and international wines. Not all of them are available by the glass. The bar also serves a limited menu that includes some snacks to accompany the wines such as prawns, oysters, sliced ham and traditional cheeses.
A Note for Wine Lovers:
The Touriga Nacional is traditionally used for Port wine making and grows in the Douro wine region, located in the northern region of Portugal.
Rua Da Cinnture Do Porto De Lisboa
Armazem A, No. 17
(Cais do Sodre neighborhood)
+351 218 203 320