TELL ME WHERE YOU COME FROM, I WILL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE.
In the Setúbal Peninsula, the majority of the vineyards are divided into two areas: the mountainous area, formed by the Arrábida, São Luís and Rasca mountains and their extensions across the hills of Palmela, Barris, São Francisco and Azeitão, with an altitude between 100 and 500 meters; and the plain area, composed by the plains and small valleys of the municipalities of Palmela, Montijo, Alcáçer do Sal, Grândola and Santiago do Cacém, which extend to the south, dominated by the geological formation of the Pegões Pliocene, involving the Sado basin, with a quota between 30 and 100 meters.
These orographic characteristics have a marked effect on the region’s climate: a mixed climate of Atlantic influence, but with a strong Mediterranean character, influenced by the proximity to the sea and the Tejo and Sado rivers, and also to the Arrábida Mountain. Thus, the summer is hot and dry, alternating with a relatively cold and rainy winter. Next to Arrábida, a clay-limestone soil and a mild climate predominates, ideal for higher quality generous wines, such as the Moscatel de Setúbal and Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal (D.O. Setúbal). The production of high quality white wines also benefits from this climate. In the plains, the soils are fundamentally sandy and the thermal amplitudes are greater. In the western coast, which extends to the northeast and southeast of Arrábida, it is where we can find the best conditions for the production of full-bodied red wines, and the place of choice for the Castelão (Periquita) variety. To the south of the Troia Peninsula, the climate is warmer and drier, although refreshed by the Atlantic. Here, the wines are marked by an intense sun exposure, but balanced by the nighttime temperatures and the freshness from the sea. The vineyards closest to the interior, in the southwest, produce wines with superior alcohol content and concentration.
The average values of annual precipitation vary between 550 and 750 mm, showing, throughout the year, a distribution similar to the south of the country, with June, July and August having the greatest water deficit, also due to the reduced capacity of soil water retention.
Regarding the temperature, the average values are relatively high in the summer months (25 to 28ºC).
The annual average of relative humidity is between 75% to 80%, which reflects the region´s proximity to the sea, presenting lower values in the summer months.
The prevailing winds blow from the North, Northwest and West quadrants.
The region has high insolation values – 2200 hours / year – with summer values exceeding 300 hours of sunshine per month.