On Friday we headed out to Quinta do Portal – an estate I have a long association with, having first visited there in 2007. Based in the small village of Celeiros near Sabrosa, Quinta do Portal produce an exceptional range of table wines as well as some excellent Ports.
Joao took us on the tour – with their architect designed, environmentally sustainable new winery the main attraction. We toured a huge array of barrels whilst Joao gave us insights into the family history and technical information about the cellar. We ended up on the grassy roof which is integral to maintaining the humidity within the cellar as well as affording fantastic views of their vineyards and surrounding areas.
Inside, we tasted an extensive range of wines: a basis white followed by a superb barrel aged Grande Reserva; an unusual single varietal Tinta Barrocca; a Grande Reserva red; 10 YO Moscatel, 10 YO tawny and culminating in their 30 year old tawny.
From Quinta do Portal we headed over to Regua and the small estate of Quinta de Tourais. Owned by the Coelho family since 1927, this was a truly wonderful experience as we were hosted by Fernando, Manuela and Liliana. They were almost at the end of harvest on their 20 hectare estate with 30 different grape varieties and Fernando showed us the vineyards from the highest point on the property where it was clear to see the different varieties due the autumnal colours of the leaves. A quick tour of the cellar revealed that Fernando was a bit of a maverick with regards to his winemaking and label design.
We headed into the dining room for a fabulous traditional lunch. Amazing salads, goats cheese, pasties, tomatoes and a spinach soup were the start, followed by a hearty casserole and a trio of desserts. This was all washed down by their excellent wines: a rose; a white wine that was infused with hops that was surprisingly delicious; a red that was a blend of three years followed by their Douro Reserva and a 10 YO white port to finish.
The family were wonderful hosts and this was a brilliant end to a brilliant day.