TWENTY-SEVEN members of the Algarve Wine Society travelled to the northern Alentejo recently for a two-day visit of three vineyards. Members stayed in the fortified, medieval, hilltop town of Marvão, where they had the opportunity to explore the beautiful place and its 13th century castle.
First stop on Wednesday morning was the Monte da Penha winery near Portalegre, where members were received by owner, Francisco Fino, and his daughter and son-in-law, Rita Fino Magalhães and Fernando Magalhães. The 21-hectare vineyard was explored in detail and several excellent whites and reds were tasted. At the end of the visit, Francisco Fino, on behalf of his Monte da Penha winery, accepted the first Algarve Wine Society presentation plate from president Michael Savage.
Wednesday afternoon was an interesting visit to Portalegre’s tapestry museum. The tapestry industry brought Portalegre fame and fortune in the 16th century and tapestries are still woven there today. Later in the afternoon, the group visited the traditional Tapada de Chaves winery, also near Portalegre.
On Thursday morning, members visited a new “boutique” winery, ‘Lima Mayor’, south of Monforte, where proprietor Thomas Lima Mayor and wife Maria treated everyone to in-depth Portuguese hospitality. Thomas’s wines, which have only been on the market for a couple of years and are produced in very limited quantities, were spectacular, reflecting a very particular philosophy of winemaking.
Next on the Algarve Wine Society’s programme are a tasting of South African wines on May 31 at the Hotel Garbe in Armação de Pêra, and a winery visit, gourmet dinner and music evening at Cortes de Cima, near Vidigueira, on June 22. The society’s traditional summer party will be on August 28.
Anyone wishing to obtain information about the Algarve Wine Society should contact secretary Larry Hampton at address Quinta da Mesquita, Cerro da Mesquita C.P. 310-A, 8150-025 São Brás de Alportel, or at e-mail: [email protected]