It’s a long-standing tradition for the Algarve Wine Society to throw a party to mark the start of high summer and this year’s event has just taken place in the luxurious surroundings of the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa.
While, unusually, the temperature did not reach the climatic highs being experienced in Northern Europe, members enjoyed an excellent outdoor lunch and accompanying wines served in an afternoon of balmy Algarvian sunshine.
Almost 100 members and guests, a record for this event, congregated in the hotel gardens for a welcome reception followed by a delicious lunch in the spectacular surroundings of the hotel’s Blue Lagoon patio.
Wines were served courtesy of Ribafreixo Wines, a leading Alentejo winery based in the classic Portuguese winemaking region of Vidigueira. The microclimate here enables the making of premium white wines, all full of freshness, acidity and minerality.
Members attending the lunch enjoyed Ribafreixo’s award-winning Pato Frio Grande Escolha, having already had the entry level, deliciously fruity Pato Frio Antão Vaz 2018.
Red wines were represented, too, with the winery’s Gáudio Clássico, previously voted Portuguese wine of the year (CWSA) as well as having been awarded a plethora of gold medals and high scores in American competitions, accompanying the main course. With an excellent dessert, guests tasted the sublime Gáudio Clássico Reserva 2014 and the meal was rounded off by Ribafreixo’s Gáudio Licoroso.
Ribafreixo’s Chief Executive, Mário Pinheiro, introduced these and several other wines while also fascinating attendees with anecdotes about his years in South Africa and encounters with leading politicians such as Nelson Mandela.
Members enjoyed the wines over an excellent lunch of scallops, smoked duck and beef followed by cheese and dessert ably prepared and served by the Hilton’s staff.
In addition to their winery in Vidigueira, Ribafreixo is about to launch a new retail outlet in Vilamoura which will be open to the public.
www.algarvewinesociety.com | www.ribafreixo.com
By GAYNOR STAPLETON