New Tavira wines steeped in history aim to achieve “iconic” status
A new brand of wines called Sete Cavaleiros do Castelo (Seven Knights of the Castle) has been launched in Tavira in hopes of becoming an iconic product of the town.
Interestingly, the wines are the result of a partnership between local company ARTgilão, which promotes “religious and tourist activities in Tavira”, and the Casa Santos Lima winery.
Priest Miguel Neto, the company’s boss, says he believes this is the first time in Portugal that a company linked to the church has created its own wine.
He explained that the idea blossomed after ARTgilão celebrated its first anniversary in 2018.
“We thought wine was a good product to launch. The idea was that it would become a brand image of Tavira’s churches and could be found at local restaurants, cafés and stores,” he told Barlavento newspaper.
The original plan was to launch solely a red wine, but after speaking with the winemakers at Casa Santos Lima, a decision was made to also produce a white and a rosé.
“We are in the Algarve, where white and rosé wines can be enjoyed chilled and paired with seafood,” Neto explained, adding that these wines fit in perfectly with the Mediterranean Diet which is such an important part of Tavira’s traditions.
Explains Priest Miguel Neto, the name of the brand was suggested by José Santos Lima, the great grandson of the founder of Casa Santos Lima and the current owner.
“After a visit to the Santa Maria do Castelo church, he asked about the seven crosses that were on the altar and what they meant. I explained they were related to Tavira’s seven martyr knights and he immediately said it could be a good idea for the name,” said the priest.
The history behind the wine label takes you back to the 13th century when Portuguese forces arrived in the Algarve, led by Dom Paio Peres Correia, Master of the military Order of Santiago, to take the region back from the Moors around the year 1238.
The wines can be purchased at the ARTgilão stores found in the Santa Maria do Castelo and São Paulo churches or ordered from the company’s Facebook page.
The red costs €6.80 while the others cost €4.70.