Wine tasting dinner in the far eastern Algarve

The Algarve Wine Society’s 2015 programme of events took off to a flying start last week when 62 members from no less than nine European nations took to the east to enjoy a one-night break at the Castro Marim Golf and Country Club.

Amazing wines were presented to the Society by the charismatic Julian Cuellar Reynolds, sixth generation of the esteemed Anglo-Portuguese Reynolds family.

Julián’s great-great-great grandfather, Robert Reynolds, settled in Portugal in 1820 attracted by the burgeoning cork industry.

Originally settling in Estremoz, the family diversified into wine-making, a tradition carried on to this day by Julian from his 200-hectare Monte Figueira de Cima in Arronches, close to the Alentejo town of Portalegre.

The Society tasted three different levels of wine representing three different generations of the Reynolds family.

Entry level Carlos Reynolds, mid range Julian Reynolds and, la crème de la crème, Gloria Reynolds, named as a mark of respect for Julian’s mother of the same name. These were followed by a glass of Robert Reynolds, a divine fortified wine.

All Julian Reynolds’ red wines benefit from significant ageing in the bottle, the Gloria Reynolds Tinto in particular being the 2005 vintage.

The quality wines were accompanied by a four-course dinner from the hand of Castro Marim’s executive chef, Michael Hegarty-Afonso, in the recently extended and improved upstairs dining room. This offers spectacular views of the beautiful bridge over the nearby Guadiana, Spain beyond and the surrounding salt marshes to the south.

Forthcoming events for the Society include the AGM and Gala Dinner at Vila Sol Hotel in Vilamoura on February 27, tasting lunch at the catering college in Faro on March 24, a gourmet dinner in the Golden Triangle in May, then a day’s outing to a winery in the Alentejo in late May followed by the final event before shutting down for the summer, a summer party with lively dancing in June.