THE POTTERY AND WINEMAKING OF ALENTEJO
200 year old Talhas, or wine pottery of Alentejo, at Esporão
Romans brought the tradition of making wine in clay vessels to what is now known as Portugal. Though winegrowing was established through the Iberian Peninsula prior to the influx of the Roman empire, their influence shifted styles of winemaking in the region.
In the Southcentral portion of Portugal, the area of Alentejo has served as a historical center of pottery in the Iberian Peninsula. Through the region, master potters produced large talhas de barro, or Portuguese clay fermentation vessels for wine. What is unique about the talhas, when compared to the widely discussed tradition of amphora in general, is the range of use the talhas provide. Wine made in talhas traditionally was fermented, stored, and served all within the same vessel.