Home from Portugal!

Paul and I have so many memories, photos and stories to tell!  Portugal is a land of history, of tradition, of family heritage.  But new directions are on their horizon.  During the ten days we visited, we tasted Rose’ Ports, Sparkling Ports, Late Harvest Ports, Port Cocktails, and more. The younger generation are creating new port based cocktails. Before dinner each night we had either white port with tonic water and orange slice, ruby port with fruit juice and floating fruit wedges, or tawny port with juice and an olive in martini glasses. All were great!

Methods of winemaking included traditional processing to organic to biodynamic to lunar to holistic.  Every wine making technique under the sun is present today in Portugal.  In Vinho Verde our journey began at Paco de Calheiros, Quinta de Ameal, Afros Wines and Quinta de Santa Maria. Each day we shared shared wines from the region with traditional Cod and cabbage dishes.  The saying there is that they can make Cod 365 different ways. Every location had great stories to tell.  For instance Paco de Calheiros is still owned by the same family since 1336. At the end of the tree-lined drive is a narrow gate with stone pillars, which bears the following inscription from 1450. “From this honourable house Proceeds the Calheiros family Lord of the Manor”. Francisco de Calheiros e Menezes is the present Lord of the Manor and representative of the title “Count of Calheiros”. He was our host for tour, tasting, dinner, and overnight accommodations. Paco de Calheiros is now part of the Rural Hotel group in Portugal which includes approximately 100 such lovely manors that have been restored and are ready to entertain wine tourists travelling to the land of Port.

Cheers,
Merrill

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