Portugal is split by its major river, the Tagus, which creates a clear demarcation of the landscape as the northern terrain is mountainous where rivers course through the valleys, and the south features a rolling landscape of plains and hills and a hotter, drier climate. The summer weather in the mountainous areas is very arid and blazingly hot with the animals huddling under what trees or bushy shelter there is for shade. The islands of Azores and Madeira, however have a cooler microclimate with their position in the Atlantic, and they produce fine cheeses as well as the famous dessert wine. Additionally, in volcanic areas the soil composition where grazing occurs is rich in minerals, giving a really interesting structure to the milk. From the nuttiness of SÃO JORGE to the spiciness of EVORA, the cheeses of Portugal have their own distinct flavours and textures and are certainly worth exploring alongside a glass of the area's fortified wine.