Trás-os-Montes is a mountainous region in the extreme north-east of Portugal and its wines aren’t well known in the Algarve, so when winery owner Natacha Teixeira made the long journey south on January 21, Algarve Wine Society members found themselves making first contact with some characterful wines destined to become old friends.
The Teixeira family have developed Quinta do Sobreiró de Cima from humble beginnings as a very localised supplier to its current range of more than 20 wines, combining international and Portuguese varieties, and with an emphasis on organic production.
The winery is located in an area known as ‘Terra Quente’ and the warm earth of these valleys has produced choice wines since Roman times, when the ‘Passum Optima’ (raisin wine) was transported back to the imperial capital.
An enthusiastic ambassador for the region and what it can offer the 21st century wine fan, Natacha presented a total of 10 wines for the AWS to taste before and during the lunch served by the team at the Oregano restaurant of the Tivoli Marina hotel in Vilamoura.
Highlights included the prizewinning Cabernet Sauvignon and, by contrast, the very Portuguese Moscatel Galego Branco, which was paired with a starter of tomato salad with avocado timbale and pan-fried shrimp.
There were many orders for these reasonably-priced wines, even before members had sampled the delicious ‘Tempo’ dessert wine alongside raspberry pannacotta with ruby chocolate and raspberry sorbet.
So, a sizeable consignment of Sobreiró de Cima wines will soon be finding its way south and, in turn, AWS members have found a very good reason to take a trip to this outlying but beautiful corner of the wine regions of Portugal.
Quinta do Sobreiró de Cima’s website can be found at www.sobreiro.net
The wines are available via Catuna and Silva (www.catuna-silva.pt)
More information on the AWS is available at www.algarvewinesociety.com
By ALISON WEST
Photos: NEIL ADAMSON