Portugal Trip 2014

  • Portugal, here we come  .  .  .



  • ”A revolution has been taking place in the vineyards and cellars of Portugal. . . nothing short of astonishing!” says Jancis Robinson, foremost authority on grape varietals in her latest book, Jancis Robinson Tastes the Best Portuguese Table Wines.


    Just the essentials  .  .  .

    Our wine tour departs Sunday, May 11, 2012, and returns Monday, May 19. Travel to Portugal is on Air Transat.


    Experience the Dao and Bairrada. Discover why the city of Oporto is a Unesco World Heritage Site.


    Dão Wine Region: In the center of Portugal, the Dão is one of the country’s oldest and most famous wine regions. Grapes are grown in very granitic soil, the best in the foothills of the Serra da Estrela mountains. Many vineyards are planted on south facing slopes to take full advantage of the sun. Sheltered by mountains, creating its own micro-climate, the high plateau of the Dão enjoys hot, dry summers and very cold winters with good rainfall. Other than a few estates like Roques, 90% of the vineyards are one hectare or less, separated by small villages and pine forests. Encruzado, malvasia fina, touriga nacional, alfrocheiro, jaen (tinta mencia), roriz (tempranillo) & tinta cão are the leading grape varieties.

    Bairrada Region has Portugal’s highest wine classification as a Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). Viticulture in the Bairrada has existed since at least the 10th century, when the region gained independence from the Moors. Located just south of the major Port wine producing center of Oporto, the fortunes of Bairrada were on the upswing during the 17th century when Port producers, eager to supply the growing British market, would blend Bairrada wines with the product coming from the Douro. The region is known for its deep colored tannic red wines that often have bell pepper and black currant flavors as well its emerging rosé production. The principal grapes of the Bairrada region includes baga, borrado das moscas, castelao frances, fernao pires, rabo de ovelha and tinta pinheira. It is located close to the Atlantic which ocean currents have a moderating effect on the climate.


    We end in Porto, magnificently situated on the great banks of the River Douro, which spills into the Atlantic after its scenic 927 km journey from Spain. The ‘granite city’ is best known for its striking bridges.


    Our tour includes a buffet breakfast each morning, winery lunches and dinners.


    Tour extensions are available and can be arranged through José Duarte.


    The financial basics are as follows:


    • Escorted by José Duarte.


    • Capacity is limited. Bookings are on a first come, first served basis.



    The Itinerary

    (highlighted stops are described on next page)


    Sun. May 11   Overnight flight Toronto / Porto on Air Transat


    Mon, May 12             Drive to Viseu,

                            Viseu Pousada check in, time to rest.

                            Dinner at a local restaurant.


    Tue, May 13   City tour, visit, tasting & lunch Casa da Passarela.

                            Free evening.


    Wed, May 14 Visit, tasting & lunch at Casa de Insua.

                            PM — visit, tasting Quinta dos Roques.

                            Free evening.


    Thu, May 15  Check out,

                            Drive to Santar,

                            Visit, tasting & lunch at Paço dos Cunhas do Santar

                            PM –Visit, Tasting & Dinner at Quinta de Cabriz,

                Drive to Coimbra

              Check in at Check in at Hotel Tivoli Coimbra


    Fri, May 16    AM – Visit, tasting & lunch at Campo Largo

                            PM – Visit Bairrada Wine Museum, Visit / tasting & dinner at Caves Alianca


    Sat, May 17    Half day Coimbra city tour,

                            Visit Vista Alegre,

                            Drive to Porto, check in at Hotel Pestana Porto

                            Free evening.


    Sun, May 18   Free Day

                            Farewell dinner.


    Mon. May 19 Check out. Transfer to Porto Airport for flight to Toronto.

    Places along the route in chronological order


    Built over 200 years ago, Casa da Passarela has special history within the region, as the local village grew up alongside the quinta and has provided an important source of employment over time. The house is currently undergoing renovation is planned to open as an agro-tourism hotel in future.Passarela is very much about its terroir and tradition. Winemaker Paulo Nunes likes the old vines and traditional varieties on the property. He believes the estate’s clones are perfectly adapted to its terroir. The total size of the quinta is around 100 hectares, of which 40 are in vineyards. Eleven of those are in older vines (60-100 years), mostly field blends with vines mixed in amongst one another. It is notable that about 50% of these old vines were in touriga nacional which was separated out on its own.


    Casa da Insua is a sunny baroque style building with an imposing façade and magnificent gardens. Under the guidance of winemaker José Matias, we will have the opportunity to come and taste the wines of Casa Ínsua. It is a must see destination.


    Quinta dos Roques

    “I am tempted to say Quinta dos Roques is the Ch. Latour to the Ch. Margaux of Quinta da Pellada.” Jancis Robinson

    Quinta Dos Roques and its co-owned winery, Quinta das Maias, lead this revolution with high quality wines and innovation in producing the first group of seriously regarded Portuguese varietals that have set the standard for all the rest of the producers and greatly reduced the reliance on often ill-matched field blends. The 1996 Touriga Nacional from Roques was acclaimed one of the ten best wines of the twentieth century by The Quarterly Review of Wines.  Recently, the 2003 vintage received a gold medal from Decanter magazine and the 2005 three gold medals/trophies in the 2007 International Wine Challenge in London, rated the best Portuguese red wine.


    Paço dos Cunhas do Santar is a XVII Century estate with two manor houses built 100 year apart, making it a charming destination.


    Quinta de Cabriz is a secular “quinta” (farm) so along with a 17th century manor house there is also a chapel.This is one of the most famous “quintas” of the Dão region with 38 hectares of vineyards.


    At Campo Largo, grandfather Martinho produced red wine back in the early 1920’s. He was amongst a rare group of growers who would separate white from black grapes, producing a beautiful and renowned white wine. Both wines were sold in bulk to local merchants who would then bottle the wine. In mid 1990’s they started testing new varieties the first Campolargo wines resulted from 2000 crop. Nowadays, the business lies in the hands of the third generation with Jorge Campolargo responsible for the vineyards and Carlos Campolargo heading the cellar and sales. Joana Campolargo represents the fourth generation, handling administrative support and external relations.


    The Bairrada Wine Museum is the largest museum dedicated to wine in Portugal. Among its exhibits, dating from the 19th century, the equipment used by the pioneers of sparkling wine in Portugal stands out. It has one of the largest collections of corkscrews in the world.


    Aliança was founded in 1927 in Sangalhos, Bairrada region. Wine, sparkling wine and brandy’s quality are the brands image Aliança has grown and has been developing a modern strategy. Recently Aliança made strong investments on oenology tourism in Sangalhos. Aliança has an excellent tour circuit that passes through the tunnels of sparkling wine, by the impressive park of 1.200 barrels of wine, and by the traditional brandy cellars.


    Coimbra served as the nation’s capital during the Middle Ages, it is better known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. There are many archaeological structures which date back to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, such as its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra served as the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain. During the Late Middle Ages, with its decline as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre, helped by the university finally established there in 1537.


    Vista Alegre is a Portuguese porcelain manufacturer located in Ílhavo and is part of the largest national tableware group: the Grupo Vista Alegre Atlantis. It produces about 10 million pieces a year, in decorative and domestic porcelain.


    Portugal May 11-10, 2014


5 Responses to “Portugal Trip 2014”

  1. Keep us informed. We are interested.

    • Jim & Nancy Parker
  2. thank you. We will add your name to the list

    • bodyandsoul
  3. Great! We’re interested.

    • Marie Petermann
  4. hello Marie,

    we will add your name to the list, and provide more details when available.
    Best regards

    • bodyandsoul
  5. we visit every year,is there a tasting in April?2014

    • Adele

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