The prestigious Santos Lima family have long had associations with the Eastern Algarve, but it was only in 2013 that they made the decision to follow the Phoenicians and the Romans before them and purchase land and plant extensive vineyards in the Tavira area.
Today, Casa Santos Lima, with its multitude of wineries in almost every DOC in the country (Lisboa, Alentejo, Minho, Douro and Algarve), is the largest single producer in the Algarve, having today conquered 40% of the total production.
The Algarve Wine Society was lucky enough to be able to taste some of these local wines (along with others from elsewhere) at a dinner in the lovely setting of Benamor golf, appropriately in Tavira.
Duarte O’ Neill, in charge of national sales, represented Casa Santos Lima, having made the journey down from Lisbon.
Members and guests gathered on the pretty terrace to enjoy a glass of Espumante Bruto de Portugal, a lovely fresh, fruity, sparkling wine, before heading inside for dinner.
Preparation for the night was exceptional. The tables were spacious and the copious number of glasses were gleaming. Food and Beverage Director of Benamor, Ricardo Gonçalves, excelled.
LAB (so named because of Sr. Santos Limas’ admiration of the Labrador dog) Rosé accompanied an interesting salmon ceviche, then the local Al-Ria Sauvignon Blanc complemented a delicious fillet of sea bass. Next, another Algarve wine, Al-Ria Reserva Red, was served with an excellent fillet steak before a Douro wine, Quinta de Porrais, with a cheese selection.
Dessert was replaced with a glass of Casa Santos Lima’s Lisboa “Late Harvest” before coffee was served.
It was a lovely evening of old friends seeing old friends, again in a lovely setting.
The next meeting of the Algarve Wine Society will be a lunch at Hotel Eva in Faro on November 17 to taste the wines of Herdade do Sobroso, which will be presented by family member and oenologist, Filipe Teixeira Pinto.
By Gaynor Stapleton