Posts Tagged : wine tourism

Quinta da Terrincha

Text Bruno Mendes

In Torre de Moncorvo, and more specifically in the Vilariça Valley near the National Road 102, the Quinta da Terrincha is located in the Douro Demarcated Region. It once belonged to the Counts of Pinhel and today is owned by the Seixas Pinto family who acquired it in the late twentieth century in a state of neglect.

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Quinta da Terrincha Aerial View – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

This is a property with an area of over 300 hectares that has undergone a comprehensive redesign with the intention of not only monetize the investment, but also return all relevance and graciousness that Quinta da Terrincha had once had. Thus, the family proceeded to planting considerable expanses of vineyards and olive groves and invested on wine tourism having now a restaurant “Canto da Terrincha” and a hotel complex consisting of a hotel in the finishing phase and 15 rural tourism houses of typologies T1, T2 and T3.

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Quinta da Terrincha – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

To the initial 50 hectares of vineyards planted with the grape varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Sousão, Gouveio, Viosinho, Rabigato and Arinto, among others) they added in 2016 another 13 hectares.

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Quinta da Terrincha white – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

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Quinta da Terrincha red – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

These are the grapes that give birth to the Quinta da Terrincha wines, namely Quinta da Terrincha red, Quinta da Terrincha white, Quinta da Terrincha Rosé and Quinta da Terrincha red Lote T13.

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Quinta da Terrincha Rosé – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

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Quinta da Terrincha red Lote T13 – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

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The Vineyards – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

Besides the wine, the olive oil is another important investment of this Quinta. In total there are 80 hectares of olive groves with the varieties Verdeal, Cordovil, Cobrançosa, Madural. Quinta da Terrincha’s olive oil is the result of an organic production process, which benefits greatly from the climate and soil conditions of where the olive grove is planted.

Cheese is another highlight product of this Quinta. Quinta da Terrincha has its own production of Terrincho cheese, a protected designation of origin (DOP). The cheeses are produced in the Quinta’s cheese dairy and are 100% made of Churra da Terra Quente Transmontana ewes’ milk (also known as the Terrincha sheep), which are seen as excellent milk producers for the production of this unique cheese and much appreciated in the entire Portugal’s extent. The Terrincho cheese is a ripened cheese that undergoes a maturation of no less than 30 days to a maximum of 90 days, which originates the variant Terrincho Velho. In addition, they also produce fresh cheese and creamy cheese.

Other products of this Quinta are the vinegar, table grapes, olives, honey, pumpkins, among others.

In addition to the Vilariça Valley, Quinta da Terrincha also has a vast mountainous and steep area, totaling 80 hectares, where we can find waterfalls, mines, ponds, 20 hectares of poplars and a grove of oaks and junipers which is an important priority habitat of the Rede Natura 2000. All very well interconnected with walking trails that allow visitors to experience in fullness, and in a functional way, all the beauty of this Quinta. There, on top of the mountain, the view is wonderful and one can see the entire length of the Quinta, the Valley and all its surroundings.

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Quinta da Terrincha – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

Taking now a closer look at the extent area dedicated to the wine tourism, with a total of 70 hectares, the Seixas family started in 2009 the recovery of all existing buildings having now 15 rural tourism houses of typologies T1, T2 and T3 totaling 30 rooms. Also, in finishing stage is a small hotel of charm in the Antigo Solar Oitocentista (Casa Mãe), which aims to provide the guests a comfortable stay while allowing them at the same time to enjoy all the rurality and rustic environment that characterizes the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro region.

All of this is complemented by the “Canto da Terrincha” restaurant with capacity for 40 people, and whose motto is “every customer is a friend!” The aim is to offer customers a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere so they can enjoy the most the typical regional dishes. Food quality is guaranteed, since almost all products that are available and are used in the restaurant are from the Quinta itself, sporting a certificate of organic farming.

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Quinta da Terrincha – Photo Provided by Quinta da Terrincha | All Rights Reserved

Some of the specialties that you may try at this restaurant are the posta de vitela (veal), costeleta de vitela (veal chop), alheiras, kid, river fish (bogas), cod in the oven, octopus “drowned” in olive oil, among others. Finally, between the many desserts there is a very special one, the delicious Terrincho cheese with pumpkin jam.

If you haven’t been there yet, Quinta da Terrincha is undoubtedly a Quinta to get to know whether it be accompanied by your partner, family or friends, and let yourself go by its wine, gastronomy and surrounding environment!

Contacts
Quinta da Terrincha – Sociedade Agrícola, S.A.
Quinta da Terrincha, Estrada Nacional 102
5160-002 Adeganha – Torre de Moncorvo
Portugal
Tel: (+351) 279 979 525
E-mail: geral@quintadaterrincha.pt
Website: www.quintadaterrincha.pt

Quinta da Murta – A place to uncover

Text Bruno Mendes

Just 25km northeast of Lisbon we can find Quinta da Murta. It’s a remote and protected area with a great diversity of flora and fauna located in Bucelas, in between limestone hills in the Lusitanic Basin.

Their wines are made in a natural way and maturated on full lees with “batonnage” and bottled at Quinta da Murta facilities.

Here we can find an events hall, a modern winery and cellar, a tasting room, a villa with a pool complemented with its amazing exterior deck that provides a beautiful view of the valley and its limestone cliffs and can hold up 300 guests which makes it a perfect venue for any kind of events, be it big or small.

Quinta da Murta is a beautiful place waiting for you! Check out all of this and much more on the video below.

Quinta do Ameal, quality everywhere

Text José Silva | Translation Jani Dunne

In a small estate in Minho that dates back to 1710, Pedro Araújo, great-grandson to Adriano Ramos Pinto, has been developing a project for the production of white wines in the valley of Lima river, which has been building a reputation for higher-quality wines.

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The House – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Vines – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Thanks to a unique terroir, in a property that includes banks on the river Lima, with excellent grounds and an excellent exposure to the sun, he has been developing vineyards on this land, which are mostly of the region’s ruling grape variety, Loureiro. It even included some Arinto variety, which was bottled in 2005, but the motorway that links Ponte de Lima to Arcos de Valdevez cut off those vines. He has also been planting a few other vines and will soon replant a little Arinto. In total, he owns 30 hectares of vines, 12 of which are biologically produced.

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Ameal Loureiro – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Ameal Escolha – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The first Ameal Loureiro was made in 1999, and in 2000, the Ameal Escolha emerges, which was the first Loureiro to be fermented and to have aged in a cask.

Later, in 2002, he produced his first sparkling wine, which was only launched in 2009, and in 2006, he produced another sparkling wine that will only be released in 2016 after having aged for 10 years.

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His first sparkling wine – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Ameal Special Harvest – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In 2007, the first Special Harvest emerged, a late harvest that only filled 700 half-bottles. It was produced, once again, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and there is an expected production for 2015.

Closing the circle of new products, in 2011, it was time for the first Ameal Solo, which is a natural wine, after 10 years of biologic agriculture. A tribute to the grounds and to the life in them. It was launched in 2013, and was reproduced in 2014, already in the market, and it’s another wine to quickly run out. Quinta do Ameal, produce about 60,000 bottles of wine a year, exports them to 15 countries, among which is Australia. Pedro Araújo has successfully brought them to renowned restaurants, some with Michelin stars, the result of a very complex job that includes many trips to several countries, to markets, and to festivals. The wines from Quinta do Ameal are white, with a very characteristic profile, with fruit, but not too exuberant; complex and iconic wines with excellent acidity and enormous minerality, captivating wines that captivate you and that you look forward to having. Although these are white wines produced in green-wine region, that does not make them strictly hot-weather wines; much on the contrary. They are gastronomic wines that can be enjoyed in the summer, at a very cool temperature, but which are also nice in the winter, for example, with seafood, oven-roast fish, and even a decent meal of codfish. Pedro Araújo knows well hot to transmit it, how to get it on the market.

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Bedroom – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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House – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

He has recently decided to invest in rural tourism, having enhanced the estate’s natural beauty and having restaured many houses of many sizes.

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Living Room – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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House – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Every house has an en-suite, especially the biggest one, which includes three, and a huge living room that is also used to serve breakfasts and several other meals, as well as wine tastings. Every house offers free powerful wi-fi, and interestingly, they also allow access to many radio channels from around the world, with a choice of music genre for every taste.

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Decor – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Bedroom – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The homes have refined details, based on many materials from the estate itself, from fallen or chopped-down trees, even old doors and gates, which are now used for a different purpose, and in extremely good taste.

The comfort factor will always be there, all about. When possible, the breakfasts include natural products from the estate.

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Vines – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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The estate – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

With capacity for 11 people, you can take a stroll round the property, about the vineyards or along the river, and there is even a pathway that connects the estate to Ponte de Lima, a few miles away.

The pool is very popular when the weather is good, where you can enjoy some appetisers and cool drinks, which include the estate’s wines. Entire meals of various types can be ordered in advance.

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The pool – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Pedro Araújo – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Pedro Araújo has created a modern hotel unit for wine tourism in the middle of Minho.

Contacts
Quinta do Ameal – SOC. AGR. S.A.
4990 – 707 Refóios do Lima Ponte do Lima
Portugal
Mobile: (+351) 916 907 016
Tel: (+351) 258 947 172
Fax: (+351) 258 947 172
E-mail: quintadoameal@netcabo.pt
Website: www.quintadoameal.com

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova’s Country House & Spa – A place where quality reigns!

Text Olga Cardoso | Translation Bruno Ferreira

Located just a few miles from Beja, in Baixo Alentejo, Herdade da Malhadinha Nova is a place of leisure and pleasure. The quality is present in every detail, even in the simplest… well, or at least apparently simple.

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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Photo Provided by Herdade da Malhadinha Nova | All Rights Reserved

Design objects, chairs and lighting by Philippe Starck, Charles & Ray Eames or Mariano Fortuny are present everywhere, but are, nevertheless, perfectly integrated in a rural environment. The fusion between design, rurality, comfort and elegance, appeal to senses and feelings.

At Malhadinha Nova you can enjoy experiences, moments, feelings or details, which will most certainly lead to a second visit.

Cooking with a renowned chef, learning the art of photography or painting, or even discovering the world of wine in an intimate way… these are some of the experiences offered to the visitors.

During my visit to the Herdade I was received in princely fashion, having been able to participate in a showcooking given by the Chef Consultant Michelin-starred Joachim Koerper and the resident Chef Bruno Antunes.

Joachim Koerper is passionate about southern European products, about their flavors, colors, aromas and textures. His philosophy is simple, like are all good things in life, he uses only natural and fresh products and works them with art and creativity.

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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Photo Provided by Herdade da Malhadinha Nova | All Rights Reserved

For that reason, the restaurant Malhadinha – Wine & Gourmet, which is integrated into the building’s cellar, offers a signature cuisine that favors the land products in modern interpretations. In this restaurant they always make a selection of fine dishes with flavors and irresistible aromas, which are duly accompanied by excellent wines from the Estate.

The oenology is in charge of Luis Duarte (Winemaker Consultant) and Nuno Gonzalez (Resident Winemaker). The consultant winemaker Luis Duarte is also a family friend. His remarkable career is closely linked to Herdade do Esporão. With many award-winning wines he was considered twice winemaker of the year in Portugal. Today he is one of the most renowned winemakers in the country having  remarkable results in consulting to some producers in the Alentejo. Nuno Gonzalez has a degree in biochemistry and has been specializing in viticulture and oenology. He has been in Australia, New Zealand, United States and Italy. In Portugal, he has in his résumé big name houses like José Maria da Fonseca, Niepoort and Cortes de Cima, among others.

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova was born of a dream – the dream of producing a great wine, to produce the best wine in the world.

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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Photo Provided by Herdade da Malhadinha Nova | All Rights Reserved

For such contribute the unique conditions of space and the experience of over 10 years in the production of wines as well as the passion of the team involved. From these arose a remarkable range of reds, whites and rosés. Each wine tells its story in its own way.

The difference and uniqueness are also marked by the labels, fruit of the creativity of the younger generation of the Soares family. The wines are named after the children and they also draw the labels.

Herdade da Malhadinha‘s intensely fruity and highly complex in the mouth wines are a reflection of a huge respect for nature and all of the passion and dedication with which they are created with.

If you want to read more about some of these wines, please see this article previously published on our website.

Regarding the hotel itself, it should be noted that this is an area that respects all the Alentejo matrix, the region where it is implemented. The sense of place is a core value at Mallhadinha.

Here we can get an authentic experience where the quality and refinement of simplicity prevail.

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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Photo Provided by Herdade da Malhadinha Nova | All Rights Reserved

The room decor is inspired by the Alentejo regional furniture together with a clean design, which provides comfort and tranquility. Upon arrival you will find a platter of season fruit, which is produced at the Estate, as well as the amenities of Bvlgari and air fresheners from the Portuguese brand Castelbel that emphasize all the luxury and refinement during the stay.

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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Photo Provided by Herdade da Malhadinha Nova | All Rights Reserved

The breakfast is an experience that cherishes and awakens the senses. Exposed in a “canopy table” are countless high quality products and a wide variety of flavors.

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Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Photo Provided by Herdade da Malhadinha Nova | All Rights Reserved

The activities offered to guests are many and very attractive. From moments of relaxation in the invigorating and flavored environment of their spa to a fun Jeep Safari through the Herdade or an exciting hot air balloon ride in the Alentejo dawn tranquility, all is possible in Malhadinha.

Being a wine tourism space there are different wine tastings available which are conducted by the winemaker, and also visits to the vineyard and the winery. Throughout the year, they launch various special packages subordinated to thematic experiences, such as radical adventures, gastronomy workshops or photography courses.

At the time of the harvest there are always special programs available that allow customers to fully live that special time. Equestrian tourism is also privileged by Malhadinha since they have their own stud farm, which is dedicated to horse breeding of the Lusitano breed.

I have no doubt that Malhadinha Nova has the pursuit of excellence as a guiding principle. Within just a few years of existence, it has become not only one of the best producers of domestic wine, as well as a wine tourism space with superior quality.

Contacts
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova
7800-601 Albernoa. Beja – Portugal
Tel: (+351) 284 965 210 / 211
E-mail: geral@malhadinhanova.pt
Website: www.malhadinhanova.pt

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova – Wine Tourism of Excellence

Text Bruno Mendes

It was with the dream of producing high quality wines, the best in the world, that in 1998 the Soares family (João, Paulo, Rita and Margarete Soares) acquired Herdade da Malhadinha Nova.

The first vines were planted in 2001 and in 2003 the Malhadinha’s wine cellar was inaugurated in which it was also integrated a restaurant that offers a signature cuisine with local and fresh products.

The vinification is made in modern refrigerated vats where the traditional methods of winemaking and the use of technology merge together. The labels of all wines produced at Herdade da Malhadinha Nova are drawn and designed by the younger generation of the Soares family.

In the property they also raise Alentejo cattle and black pig. We can also find and olive grove and a stud (that was born in 2008 that had right from the start 6 thoroughbred Lusitano mares).

The hotel, with an integrated Spa, blends tradition with modernity, merging design, rural concept, comfort and elegance together resulting in a complete wine tourism unit with a wide range capable to respond to all visitors, whether they are wine/gastronomy/nature/culture or tradition lovers. There’s also a broad range of activities and experiences such as visiting the estate and the winery, a number of wine tastings and wine tasting courses for beginners, thematic wine tastings, barrel tastings and lunches or picnics in the vineyards, horseback riding or ballooning.

Still not convinced?

Don’t lose the next piece about Herdade da Malhadinha Nova which will be published next Thursday (December 10). Meanwhile stay with this amazing video and João Pedro de Carvalho’s previous article about this estate’s wines.

Vídeo produced by ENCORE FILMES

There’s Something About Aveiro

Text Ilkka Sirén

By now I have already lost count of how many times I have visited Portugal. But traveling there for wine mostly has given me a very different kind of view of the country. I think I have visited a beach only once in Portugal which a bit weird, especially coming from the cold north. People told me there are great beaches in Portugal but I could only imagine. Until I visited Aveiro.

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Palm Trees and Preety Houses – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

I was visiting Bairrada, a wine region known for baga-fame and thermal spas. I concentrated mostly on the first one. After a while of stuffing myself with some really delicious leitão and visiting a couple of wineries a local winemaker Filipa Pato (see Sarah Ahmed’s article about Filipa Pato here) suggested I should visit Aveiro. I had never heard of this city before but I was intrigued. So, we took off from Bairrada and headed to the beach.

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A Beach near Aveiro – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

Aveiro is known for a couple of things. The beaches are definitely on the must-see list you ever visit this part of the world. Aveiro is called “the Venice of Portugal” because of its canals and gondola-like boats. But let me tell you, this ain’t Venice and those are not gondolas. First of all the boats, or moliceiros, are very colourful and quite beautiful to be honest. But when you take a closer look you find that the décor is quite hmm… shall we say particular.

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Moliceiros – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

Being close to the ocean the seafood is no joke here. The abundance of fish, crab and all sorts of maritime treats is just mind-boggling. I never know what to order so I usually order a bit of everything. Seafood rice, shrimps, maybe some clams and oh yeah, fish-of-the-day whatever that may be. Let’s not forget the wine. When you’re in Aveiro geographically speaking Bairrada would be a good choice to start.

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I <3 Aveiro – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

I had a Quinta das Bageiras Bruto Natural Rosé 2011. A fresh and savoury sparkling wine from one of the best wine producers in Bairrada. 100% Baga, 100% kickass. An inexplicably good match with all kinds of seafood. Of course if you are in Aveiro for dessert you have to try the Ovos Moles. A local sweet delicacy that is made from egg yolks and sugar. If you are into really sweet things then is for you.

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Lunch – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

The beautiful beaches and the proximity to some of the most exciting wine regions in the world makes this city a great destination for surfers and foodies alike. Whether you want to catch a wave or an afternoon buzz drinking some delicious wines and eating world-class seafood, Aveiro is the place for you.

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Sunset in Aveiro – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

A couple from the North fell in love with Alentejo’s Arrepiado Velho

Text José Silva | Translation Jani Dunne

One day, a couple from the North of Portugal decided to buy this piece of land near Sousel.

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The Main House – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

All they had to do then was rebuild some buildings, especially the main house, making it comfortable enough to live in. Once the vineyards were planted, producing wine was only a baby step away, thanks to the precious help of oenologist and friend António Maçanita and an expert in wine growing, David Booth, who already left us.

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The Winery – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Although they want to build a new cellar, the current one has all the necessary conditions and modern technology. This is where grapes and wines are prepared, and where wine waits to be bottled.

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Not so Ordinary Labels – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In the meantime, the couple’s son, António, and his wife Marta got busy selling the wines. Marta, who works in Design, designed the very unusual labels – really quite unique, and which make Arrepiado Velho bottles stand out in the crowd.

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Marta Neto and António Antunes – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

They got so involved in the project, they decided to move to Alentejo and work full time on producing and selling these quality wines. Marta stayed linked to Design. Even though they have two small children, they get excellent quality of life, and have adjusted perfectly.

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Lake – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The land has been developing; it now includes a lake, which stores all the water the vineyards need, but is also used for leisure, for instance the fun trips on the pedal boats. More than 75 acres of vineyards look very well kept and healthy, and the olive trees produce some quality olive oil. They want to plant more vineyards soon and add them to the existing varieties: Antão Vaz, Verdelho, Chardonnay, Viognier and Rieseling for white wine, and Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot for red.

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Wine Tourism is a Reality – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

A number of rooms and a beautiful pool opens the doors to wine tourism in Arrepiado Velho, although they want to improve on it. Many local products are used to make breakfast and other meals served there. Other products come from the same region, offering a variety of Alentejo traditional items.

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The Vineyards – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

On a walk around the land, we see vinyards all around, interrupted here and there by olive trees and holm oak.

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Orange Trees – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Dogs – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The traditional orange trees are present too, keeping visitors and playful dogs company.

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Crackling Fire – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

At dinner, by the crackling fire lit to prevent the evening chill, we relished a full table.

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Regional Bread – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Olives and Olive Oil – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Delicious regional bread came with olives, and tasted lovely dipped in olive oil.

Board of Different Sausages and Sliced Cheeses - Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved A couple from the North fell in love with Alentejo’s Arrepiado Velho A couple from the North fell in love with Alentejo’s Arrepiado Velho Blend All About Wine Arrepiado Velho Board of Different Sausages e1431425241746

Board of Different Sausages and Sliced Cheeses – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

And a board of different sausages and sliced cheeses tempted everyone. Meanwhile, our glasses were filled with white Antão Vaz 2014, which surprised us with its freshness, aroma and some tropical fruits; although non-exuberant, it revealed a good body and very balanced acidity.

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The Wines – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Right after that, Arrepiado white 2014, refreshing in the nose, with some pineapple, something mineral, good acidity and quite balanced.

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Stuffed Tomato – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Then, followed a very flavourful and rich stuffed tomato, which led to a surprising white Rieseling of very fresh citrusy notes, pineapple, grapefruit, and mango. In the mouth, it is very elegant and persistent, staying fresh – a very interesting wine.

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Delicious Sautéed Mushrooms – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Then, it was time for Arrepiado Velho Rosé, made from Touriga Nacional and Syrah, slightly floral in the nose, very fresh, an intense and full mouth, notes of very elegant red berries, which paid excellent company to the delicious sautéed mushrooms, in turn meaty and well seasoned. The first red was Brett Edition 2011, with developed aromas, tobacco, leather and some spices, good volume in the mouth, round, elegant, persistent – a different wine.

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Lamb Roast and Runny Rice – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

It accompanied a lamb roast and runny rice with greens and chouriço – excellent. We finished with a superb Red Arrepiado Velho Collection 2011 – full of class and dark fruits, notes of tobacco, slightly balsamic in the nose, a voluminous mouth, notes of smoke, chocolate, ripe dark fruits and a lasting finish.
And there was no room left for dessert.

Surrounded by peace and quiet, I had a long and deep sleep…

Contacts
Herdade do Arrepiado Velho
Tel: (+351) 256 392 675
Fax: (+351) 256 392 676
E-mail: amantunes@arrepiadovelho.com | mneto@arrepiadovelho.com
Website: www.arrepiadovelho.com

Esporão, an Alentejo Classic

Text José Silva | Translation Jani Dunne

One of Alentejo’s greatest properties, with 4450 acres of land, 1100 of which have active vineyards and the other 200 acres have olive trees producing excellent olive oil.

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The Restaurant – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Wine Shop – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

If we add a very well designed countryside cellar, a restaurant making excellent food, a wine shop selling various items and a pool of water that helps mould the landscape and waters the entire complex, we will get one of the few wine tourism locations in Alentejo. One day is not enough to enjoy it properly.

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Vineyards – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Out of all of the above, the most attractive feature is the production of the wine– besides the breath-taking landscape of unusually endless vineyards, the quality and care they put into everything they do, and, of course, the wines of many levels, where quality is the standard and almost an obsession. This team is led by an oenologist who, although born far away in Australia, has become very Portuguese and was recently naturalised as a Portuguese citizen. David Baverstock can’t hide his passion for the work he does so well; besides, he is very well supported by the viticulture and oenology team in the hands of Luís Patrão. The results come in with every new harvest.

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Grape Variety Corropio – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Grape Variety Molinha Macia – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In viticulture, the ampelographic area they keep is obviously of great importance, including 188 Portuguese species as well as many others from all over the world, where much of what belongs to Portugal is preserved, and its evolution and potential are analysed. Species with odd names, such as Tinta Pomar, Molinha Macia (soft and tender), Malvasia Cândida (Candid Malvasia), Corropio (Rush), Uva Salsa (Parsley Grape), Tinta do Bragão, Arinto do Interior, Larião, Amor-não-me-deixes (Don’t-leave-me-love), Carrasquenho and many others are proving their worth. But the most traditionally Portuguese species (Alicante Bouschet, Aragonês, Touriga Nacional, Verdelho, Antão Vaz, Arinto, Roupeiro, Gouveio) and some foreign (Syrah, Petit Verdot, Semillon) are where they get the base for most of their symbolic wines.

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Modern Winery – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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New Technical Features – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Some of these grapes are then prepared in a modern cellar that was recently renovated, to include new technical features.

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Casks – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Then, they rest in that incredible gigantic cask cellar. On our recent visit, we tasted a few of those and confirmed their potential, once again.

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Duas Castas white 2013 – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The Duas Castas white 2013, made from Gouveio and Antão Vaz, proved to be very clean, with light vegetable aromas, very citrusy and delicate. In the mouth, it is very refreshing, intense and persistent, has fruity notes and some mineral – a youthful wine.

Private Selection white, also 2013, is a completely different wine. Modern and seductive, fermented in wood, which is apparent straight away in the nose, somewhat exotic, very elegant, some white fruits, smoky notes and lightly toasted. In the mouth, it’s plump, full, of buttery notes, some very soft chocolate – a very harmonious wine.

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Reserva 2013 – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Still within the whites, we move on to Reserva 2013, a classic wine, also fermented in wood and very clean, with a little fruity intensity – somewhere between citrus and white fruits – and light smoky notes. In the mouth, it’s full, ample, including very ripe white fruit, balanced acidity and some freshness combined with persistent minerality.

Private Selection red 2011 reveals all the potential of an extraordinary year. Complex spicy aromas, some red fruits, very soft notes of chocolate and tobacco.: in the mouth, it’s austere, full, with notes of cocoa and coffee, intense, good acidity and a long, flavourful aftertaste.

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Quatro Castas red 2013 – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

We move on to Quatro Castas red 2013, the nose is somewhat floral, perhaps red fruits and very fun notes of spices. In the mouth, it’s ample, with excellent acidity, some complexity, very elegant with a very interesting medium aftertaste.

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Reserva red 2012 – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

We finish with a classic, Red Reserva 2012. This wine has an exuberant nose and includes some wild fruits, a little smoke; it is spicy and elegant. The mouth is simultaneously elegant and austere, full-bodied, slightly toasted, with dark fruits, good acidity for balance and probably good longevity. A beautiful wine.

On our way out of the estate, we had to stop at Esporão Tower, a commission by D. Álvaro Mendes de Vasconcelos built between 1457 and 1490. It was recovered in 2003 and, today, houses a museum of archaeology, where valuable items collected in Esporão and in Perdigões are displayed.

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Esporão Arch – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Beside the tower is the Esporão Arch and a Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which also belong to the history of this property, whose origin is lost in time…

Contacts
Herdade do Esporão
Apartado 31
7200-999
Reguengos de Monsaraz
Tel: (+351) 266 509280
Fax: (+351) 266 519753
E-mail:reservations@esporao.com
Website: esporao.com

Quinta da Pacheca – The Essence of Wine Tourism

Text José Silva | Translation Jani Dunne

The history of this farm goes back a long way. It is part of the history of wine and has belonged in the Serpa Pimentel family for 4 generations.

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The Quinta – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The wines from this farm evolved quite a lot in the middle of the 20th century, thanks to Engineer Eduardo Serpa Pimentel’s intense dedication. He is the grandfather of the current generation, and with whom I often had the pleasure of tasting wine. This man was highly educated, had a very open mind and made many experiments with Douro vineyards, which gave him great insight that he would share with any keen listener. I remember some whites he made from species of grapes such as Rieseling or Gewurstraminer, original ideas in a very conventional Douro at the time. As for the wines, they made it to our days; safe and sound. They are more modern, more accessible; I would even say more appetising. They have made a strong return to shop shelves and restaurants with a fresh new branding, yet still representing a well-renowned name with class. With thanks to recent investments made by the new owners, Maria do Céu Gonçalves and Paulo Pereira. They are Portuguese entrepreneurs who settled in France and have bought most of the company’s capital and are now running it alongside the Serpa Pimentel family.

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Tourism industry, the restaurant and hotel – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In the tourism industry, the quality of the restaurant and hotel is such, that they have become a reference in Baixo Corgo and even across the Douro region.

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Interior – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Interior – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

This piece is very well integrated in the farm’s architecture, with 15 rooms whose beauty and comfort are undeniable. Caring and remarkable service may be another reason for the high rate of visitors all year long.

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The restaurant – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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The restaurant – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The restaurant is run in a room of great beauty and filled with light. Besides delicious breakfasts, exquisite meals are prepared to a high degree, using Portuguese and even regional products — when possible — to make simple yet scrumptious meals.

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Alheira and Asparagus Pasty – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In our last visit, we enjoyed a lovely alheira and asparagus pasty (alheira is made of different meats and bread) over a bed of sautéd mushrooms in Pacheca olive oil – quite delicious.

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Piece of Veel – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Then, we had a piece of veel with portobello mushrooms and salpicão (pepperoni) from Vinhais – an extremely tender and delicious meat with earthy, meaty mushrooms and the perfect risotto, including a very Portuguese product: salpicão.

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Sweet made of Cheese and Coffee – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

For dessert, a sweet made of cheese and coffee with pistaccio maccaroon and red fruit pannacotta. Excellent presentation.

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The Wines – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

These flavours were accompanied by Pacheca Colheita white, from the 2014 harvest; very elegant, very fresh and intensely acid, made of a very balanced plot of species of grapes – a fine wine. Later, we had the red, also a Colheita (harvest), but of 2012. Good fruit in the nose, balanced, good volume in the mouth and excellent structure. It goes well with food. For desert, we had Porto Vintage from 2012, also very fruity in the nose, very lively and fresh with intense notes of mature black fruits, chocolate and tobacco; a sublime complexity and a promising future.

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New Tawny – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

We ended the evening with a new Tawny, very pleasant; with nutty aromas, a good structure, silky, intense and with excellent acidity. Naturally, both ports had been cooled…

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Winery – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In the morning, we took a walk down the winery and its granite walls, but most of the time, we spent around the farm and its surroundings, including the Douro river looking up at us.

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The vineyards still bare – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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One of a kind Beauty – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The vineyards still bare, waiting out for Spring temperatures to bud. Their beauty is one of a kind and one I never tire of. They stretch out along the riverside and up the banks.

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Many Houses – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Many Houses – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

There are many houses on this farm, which strive on their antiquity; they still make very dignified hosts.

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Terraces and Paths – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The various terraces and paths in the farm suggest reinvigorating walks to appreciate all that beauty, in a valley that stretches down to the river Douro.

As for the wines, they are resting in the winery until they are ready…

Contacts
Quinta da Pacheca
Cambres – 5110-424 Lamego
Portugal
Tel: (+351) 254 331 229
Fax: (+351) 254 318 380
Website: www.quintadapacheca.com

Casas do Côro – (De)light of Marialva

Text Patrícia Leite

In the Portuguese wine map, the parish of Marialva is divided between the Douro region and the Beira Interior region. And it is in the heart of this beautiful Historic Village, of great strategic importance in the dawn of nationality, that we find Casas do Côro, a country houses unit, wine hotel and eco-friendly Spa.

On the arrival to Casas do Côro we immediately realize how this wine tourism unit breathes history, tranquility and respect for nature, in a single concept that results from a huge passion for the land and for well-hosting by the owners Cármen and Paulo Romão.

Casas do Côro Casas do Côro - (De)light of Marialva blend casa coroFoto 1

Source:www.casasdocoro.pt

The project started 14 years ago with the simple idea of recovering the first of the houses – Casa do Côro – which became the main house of this tourism project of excellence. This house is like a small hotel, the only one that is not rented as a whole, and has four double rooms, one single room and a junior suite. There we also find a magnificent dining area accompanied by a cozy living room.

Casas do Côro Casas do Côro - (De)light of Marialva blend casa coroFoto 2

Source:www.casasdocoro.pt

In addition to the main house, there are other eight houses in total respect for the regional architectural style, with walls in granite, shale and wood of chestnut tree and pine.

You can also enjoy the magnificent outdoor space surrounding each one of the houses, as well as the gardens and the pool, perfect for a walk, relaxing or even for a moonlight dinner on warm summer evenings.

In perfect harmony with nature, we can also find the eco-sustainable suite of Bogalhais: a design space surrounded by oak trees and kermes oaks, with a sweeping view over Marialva.

Casas do Côro Casas do Côro - (De)light of Marialva blend casa coroFoto 3

Source:www.casasdocoro.pt

Casas do Coro currently have 24 rooms, but with the investments already made and now at the final stage, the accommodation of this unit will have in July 2014 a total of 31 rooms of 6 different types and an eco-friendly Spa.
In this wine tourism unit we can also experience, of course, the tradition of gastronomy and wine in a warm and refined atmosphere. In fact, offering gastronomy of excellence is also a bid of Casas do Coro, of Cármen Romão’s responsibility. And much of what is served in everyday meals is produced in the unit and everything else is bought nearby: bread baked in a wood oven, jams, honey, natural juices of seasonal fruits from the organic garden, ripened cheese, cottage cheese, sausage and loin, home grown eggs, cakes, among others products.

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Source:www.casasdocoro.pt

In 2008, Casas do Côro started their wine business by the hand of the friend Dirk Niepoort. First, they started buying grapes from Marialva’s producers, but then they decided to grow their own grapes and started planting vines. The “Casas do Côro” wines come from the two wine regions that “divide” Marialva: from Douro (Rosé, White Reserva and Red Grande Reserva) and from Beira Interior (White, Red and Red Reserva). Dirk Niepoort is the winemaker of Douro Rosé and White Reserva and Rui Reboredo Madeira the maker of Beira Interior White, Red and Red Reserva and Douro Red Grande Reserva.

Apart from finding wines selected by Paulo Romão at “Loja do Côro” shop, wine enthusiasts still have the opportunity to enjoy wine experiences with the various programs offered by this wine tourism unit: “Casas do Côro & Gourmet & Wine Experience, “Casas do Côro & Oporto Ramos Pinto Experience”, “Casas do Côro & Wine & Train Tour Experience” e “Casas do Côro & Douro Boat & Ervamoira Museum”.

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Source:www.casasdocoro.pt

In these 3 day programs, we can enjoy wine tastings, visits to wine estates and cellars, moments of gastronomic tasting and evening walking tours and visits to the Historical and Architectural Heritage of Marialva.

According to Paulo Romão and his wife Carmen, much more than a hotel, Casas do Coro means “love, family, culture, history, heritage and land”. To me, it’s a true (de)light of Marialva!

Contacts
Marialvamed – Turismo Histórico e Lazer, Lda
Largo do Côro
6430-081 Marialva
Portugal
Tel: (+351) 917 552 020
Fax: (+351) 279 850 021
E-mail: info@casasdocoro.pt
Website: www.casasdocoro.pt