Though Alentejo isn't as famous for its wines as other regions of Portugal, gold-medal bottles have recently been produced in this land of pork, cork, and olives. The wines are still being made the old Roman way in Vila de Frades, however, just two kilometers away from the sprawl of Roman ruins at São Cucufate in Lower Alentejo. Just before my trip, I learned about País das Uvas, the century-old adega where the wine is aged in talhas, towering terra-cotta amphoras that have been used for thousands of years. I'd barely arrived at País das Uvas when owner António Honrado, a handsome 44-year-old, showed me his latest batch of wine. The frothy red must of foot-crushed grapes sat waist-high in a stoneware vat. The must, he told me, will go into the talhas in February, and as the yeasts in the surrounding air ferment the grapes, skins and seeds will drop to the bottom, forming a lees that deepens the wine's flavor and acts as a natural filter. The new wine will be drawn through it at the ceremonial first tasting on November 11, São Martinho (St. Martin of Tour's Day).