Before the EWBC ’09, I was speaking to a friend of mine, Miguel Leal of Casa Leal, importers of premium Portuguese wine to the UK, and he invited me to visit one of his favourite wineries in Portugal, the Quinta do Sanguinhal in the D.O.C. Obidos region. Situated about an hour north of Lisbon, Quinta do Sanguinhal was established in 1927 and also encompasses the Quinta de San Francisco and Quinta das Cerejeiras. The region has been producing wine since 1153 when King D. Alfonso Henriques donated large estates in the area to the Cistercian monks.
I took a tour of the vinyards and had a winetasting of the estate’s wines with one of the owners, the genial Carlos Joao and his lovely niece, Ana – who also doubled as our vineyard tour guide.
Carlos and I had a very tasty lunch beforehand, drinking the Quinta de San Franciso 2006. A rustic wine made up of primarily touriga nacional, I enjoyed it immensely, nothing complicated but nice dark fruits and great tannins to complement the flavourful lunch. They primarily grow touriga nacional, aragonez and syrah, among other international varietals as well as a variety of indigenous and international white varietals. After lunch, Carlos put me in Ana’s capable and knowledgeable hands for a tour of the vineyard. The day ended with a tasting in their lagar room where they crush the grapes by foot. The quinta is open to tours as well as tastings and I was joined by a group of Swedes on my tasting. They all loved the wines and I’d have to agree.
I took about a thousand pics that day, below are some of them. Mouse over them for pic info.
For more information on visiting Quinta do Sanguinhal, go to www.vinhos-sanguinhal.pt