The cork harvest in Portugal

We drive out of the centre of Lisbon over the 11 km long Vasco de Gama bridge, crossing the Tejo esturary, and head for the Alentejo. We are off to the cork forests, to witness the harvest of cork bark. We were with Cork Supply’s Frederico Lima Mayer, who is in charge of buying cork […]

Dona Berta: traditional, restrained, delicious Douro wines

There’s something very traditional about the labelling of these wines from Douro estate Dona Berta: pure and classic. This is reflected in the winemaking style, which shows admirable restraint and purity.

The estate, based in Quinta do Carrenho in the Douro Superior, was established some 40 years ago by an engineer, Hernâni Verdelho, using old family […]

Video: Pinhão station and its famous tiles

Ever since I first arrived at Pinhão station in Portugal’s Douro Valley, I’ve been amazed by its beautiful blue tiles (azulejos). Overall, there are 3024 of these hand-painted tiles, arranged in 24 panels depicting wine production in the Douro as it would have been a century ago.

The station dates back to 1880, but the tiles […]

Quinta do Montalto, a Lisboa producer experimenting with amphorae and medieval wine

Quinta do Montalto is an organic producer in the Lisboa region of Portugal. The family domain consists of 15.5 hectares of vines, and the current proprietor is fifth generation André Valério (pictured above). He’s taking quite an experimental approach, and is now working with amphorae (know locally as Talhas).

He tells me that some people […]

António Madeira: a new star from Dão, Portugal

Antonio Madeira is a new superstar of the Dão with his amazingly elegant wines

António Madeira began making wines in Dão while he was still living in Paris (he’s French, of Portuguese descent). In 2010 he found a 50 year old vineyard and began his project, but because the one-hectare plot hadn’t been pruned for […]

Video: Simplesmente Vinho, an artisanal wine fair in Porto

 

I’m in Porto for the sixth edition of Simplesmente Vinho, a fair showcasing the best authentic and natural wines from Portugal and Spain. There are 101 producers here, covering a range of styles and wine growing areas, and it’s a happy hunting ground for geeks like me.

The venue is a spectacular old building on the […]

A lovely meal at DOP Porto with some nice wines

Had a great meal last night at DOP restaurant in Porto, with some really creative riffing on a Portuguese theme from Rui Paula. We began with a fruity scallop carpaccio, and then progressed to a beautifully cooked corvina (relative of sea bass) fillet with mango and coconut. These exotic flavours worked well, and this was […]

Quinta da Romaneira Vintage Port 2015

I’ve been enjoying this wine over the last few evenings. It’s a superb expression of a very fine year in the Douro, the 2015 from Quinta da Romaneira. I have no idea why this vintage wasn’t widely declared. Romaneira is a spectacular, well situated property in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro, and it […]

The wines of Luis Pato, Bairrada star

Luis Pato is perhaps the most famous face in Bairrada, even though he’s had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the regional authorities, that led him for a time to drop ‘Bairrada’ and move to labelling his wines as Beiras, the larger regional appellation.

Pato is known as a modernist, but he makes wines that […]

The wines of Quinta das Bágeiras, Bairrada

Mário Sérgio’s Quinta das Bágeiras is one of the leading wineries in Bairrada. He created the domaine in 1989 from 12 hectares of vines he got from his grandfather, and grew it by a further 16 to its current size of 28 hectares spread over 10 different vineyard plots.

The wine style here marries a modern […]