Passion for Portugal; A photographic teaser

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Great to have you here! Hope you like what you read. I’m also on Facebook; as myself and two pages; Wine Virtuosity and Mad about Madeira. Would be awesome to chat there as well. It’s not duplicate publishing. Promise!

By now, I can easily say I’ve seen some wine regions, but few are as breath-taking and painfully beautiful as in Portugal. Combined with genuinely welcoming producers, great expressions of terroir and lots of history, it’s no wonder I simply can’t get enough of the country and keeps on returning.

This year’s first visit to Portugal had Oporto as the final flight destination. Main theme? Minho, or Vinho Verde if you prefer. Sadly a region which is unfairly misinterpreted due to pure laziness and prejudice by both importers and consumers (and perhaps even at other levels as well?). Yes, there are a lot of bulk not making life easy for all the quality driven producers, but that doesn’t explain it all. I mean, how many are aware of a Minho grape called Loureiro, knows it produces some amazing quality in the Lima region, can handle barrique and ages well?

You knew all this? Great! Then you will like it here. Welcome! You didn’t knew but think it could be fun to try something else than Riesling for a change? Awesome! Riesling rocks but that doesn’t mean you need to leave out Alvarinho, Avesso, Azal, Loureiro or Vinhão. Not if wine is a passion of yours.

Here’s to Portugal – my vinous Xanadu; a photographic teaser of Bairrada, Douro and Minho. Click to enlarge.

Pruning at Quinta de Gomariz; an up-and-coming estate with an amazing expressive character in the wines. Gorgeous Alvarinho and Avesso, floral and delicious Loureiro and a red Vinho Verde you just need to taste; the Vinhão.

Two of the faces of Quinta de Gomariz; Vítor and António. Export manager to the left, winemaker to the right. Both with a genuine passion for the region’s wines.

Every vineyard needs its protector. Here’s the future gate keeper at Quinta de Gomariz. Right now it’s more fun just to hang with the guys though…

A man of opinions and belief. If it wasn’t for Pedro Araujo I seriously doubt that we today would think of Loureiro as a high quality grape. The 2003 Escolha Pedro poured at the Lima estate, ought to be mandatory for all to taste, in order to understand that Minho is not all about drinking the latest vintage. Cudos Pedro!

Springtime in Bairrada! The birds are singing, flowers popping up everywhere and it’s 22 C in the shadow. Yes, it’s unusually warm for Portugal as well at the moment, but for a Swede I can live with that, knowing my spring will arrive first in five or six weeks.

The Palace of Bussaco. Finally I’m there! It’s a great day and the tourist season hasn’t started for real yet. Hence we almost have the whole place for ourselves. After a great meal and some old Bussaco wines we enter the cellar….

….which is nothing but amazing and filled with the great Bussaco wine, a blend of Baga and Touriga Nacional.

Then there’s that river in Portugal, Douro I think it’s called…

Standing in the Pintas vineyard in the Pinhão Valley with Jorge Serrodio Borges. Old vines, around 80 years, treated with great care by team Jorge and Sandra. The 2009′s are so good and especially one of them was simply amazing and showed a complexity I rarely encounter in young wines…

Yes, yes, yes! Douro is next to Madeira my world’s most breath-taking wine region.

Manuel Resende Teixeira; you’re a great guy! Not only did you allow me to be Swedish when it came to the self-serving of old Aguardente, you also poured history by serving us the Port that started its life in 1885. An awesome day at Agri-Roncao!

Lots of stuff coming up soon…

PS. Written on the flight home. Sorry if I’m a bit sentimental.

PS.2. I take back what I just said. Wine is all about feelings! Isn’t it?

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  • http://www.grapejuices.blogspot.com Anders

    Hej Nicklas. Velkommen tilbage. Jeg glæder mig til at få nye anbefalinger fra Minho. Anders

  • http://www.foodandwineportugal.com Ben at Food and Wine Portugal

    Hi there,

    Have enjoyed browsing your site – please come visit me at http://www.foodandwineportugal.com !

    Best wishes,

    Ben

    • http://winevirtuosity.com Niklas Jorgensen

      Thanks Ben! Great recipes there! Filled my suitcase with Portuguese stuff when going home, so I can manage for at least six months ;-)

      Saw you wrote recently about the Murca in Douro. Think I stood and looked at the winery last Saturday. It’s just across the river of the DOC restaurant.

      By the way; had an awesome Leitao, suckling pig, in Bairrada Sunday. OMG!

      Best

      Niklas

  • http://winevirtuosity.com Niklas Jorgensen

    Hej Anders,

    Tak! Troede jeg kendte de fleste kvalitetsvine i Vinho Verde. Superdejligt at være helt galt på den ;-) Du kender sikkert Quinta do Ameal allerede. Og Soalheiro. Og Anselmo Mendes. Men Gomariz, Linhares, Lixa, Afros, Feital?

    MVH

    Niklas

  • http://www.grapejuices.blogspot.com Anders

    hej Niklas, Ja jeg kender både Ameal Soalheiro. også samproduktionen af samme soalheiro med Niepoort projects. Super vin!
    Jeg er stor fan af vinho verde nyder ofte gængse vinho verde på ture i Portugal som Muralhas de Moncao etc.

    Men Minho er på mit atlas som en af de næste destinationer/ekspeditioner i Portugal. Derfor er det glædeligt at læse om nye anbefalinger, som Gomariz, lixa og linhares.

    mange hilsner
    Anders

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