Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Portuguese chronicles

Mario Negreiros, our host for the weekend drove the car over the brow of the hill and
announced ‘Quinta das Amendoeiras’. From the hilltop we looked out across the valley to the Negreiros family vineyard and winery.

Through the darkening sky of dusk we could see miles of terraces cut into the hillside and the spiky silhouettes of the four vine varieties used in the Negreiros wines - Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz .

It then took some time for the car to descend the hill, follow
the curve of the land and turn into the roadway to la quinta. Eager to get some sense of the land in which we were staying, we walked to an area of olive groves, but with the light rapidly disappearing we were unable to appreciate the landscape surrounding us.

Having been shown our room it was time for something to eat and our first taste of a wine grown and produced on the very soil we were standing.

This was a perfect start to our weekend of tasting, particularly when eaten with our bacalhau (codfish). Here we also had the first taste of Mario’s wonderful storytelling.

He related heroic and funny tales of the expeditions taken long ago by Portuguese fishermen. He moved on to the history of the Douro region and finally his own family story. Mario explained how grapes grown by his grandfather were sold to make Port for the company Cockburns, how the winery became almost a ruin and how Mario made the decision to rebuild fusing old and new winemaking techniques.


  1. love, love love your blog!!!

  2. Wow! I didn´t imagine you were taking notes, like a journalist - a good one!
    Cheers, Tim.

    Mário Negreiros