Nave do Barão celebrates its wine tradition

Nave do Barão, a village in the borough of Loulé with a mighty tradition for strong wine dating back to the 12th century, is hosting its second Wine Festival on March 20 at its ‘Os Barões’ association HQ.

Featuring some of the Algarve’s flagship wines, as well as wines produced in and around the village, the festival begins at 3pm with a wine tasting event showcasing vineyards Adega da Tôr, Adega do Cantor, Monte da Casteleja, Quinta da Malaca, Monte do Além and Única (Adega Cooperativa de Lagoa).

An hour later, a contest to select the best homemade Nave do Barão wine will take place, with the award ceremony scheduled for 7pm.

Artisans are also involved, with their own handicrafts on show throughout, while Fado artists César Matoso and Sara Gonçalves will bring the event to a close at 9pm.

Admission is free, but visitors must purchase a wine glass for €2.5.

Nave do Barão wines used to have a reputation for being “so strong outsiders would ‘turn yellow’ after just two glasses”, but the tradition took a strong blow in the 19th century when vineyards were blighted by a disease known as ‘Filoxera’, and most growers turned to other activities like almond, fig and carob production.

These days, only eight winemakers remain in Nave do Barão, but they continue producing two types of the village’s famously strong wines. And in an attempt to keep the tradition going strong, ‘Os Barões’, created in 1995, opted for the idea of a festival.

Association “Os Barões” can be found after the entrance to Nave do Barão on the right-hand side. Coming from São Bartolomeu de Messines towards Loulé, pass the villages of Alte and Benafim before turning left before Alto Fica. Coming from Boliqueime towards Alte, turn right after Alto Fica.