Maceration by human foot brings out the full concentration of flavour from the grape skin, from which it draws a deeper colour. Port production, unlike table wine, has only a three day production cycle, giving little time to extract the maximum colour and flavour!
Vinitur is a pioneer and expert in wine & food travel in Portugal. I have been invited by Joao Marinho Falcao who is the Director of Vinitur to visit Porto, Douro and Vinho Verde.
I have spent 4 days .... all organised by Vinitur. Established in 1998, is a DMC/Incoming Tour Operator specializing in a full range of superior quality programs for corporate events, wine & food travel.
If you wish to visit Portugal one day please contact Vinitur, they will book visits, travels and dinners....It was a unforgettable experience for me!
My first visit was to the Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP) where I have been hosted by Paulo Pinto.
Their mission is guarantee an image of international prestige for the Port and Douro Appellations of Origin (AO)
After my visit to the Institute I have met Joao Marinho Falcao (Vinitur) for a dinner at Foz Velha Restaurant, owned by Chef Marco Gomes www.fozvelha.com
I had a delicious meal ... Chef Marco was present in each course that I have had, explaining the flavours and origem from each dish....AMAZING!
Joao M. Falcao & Chef Marco
Visit to the Symington Group - Graham's Caves, hosted by Joao Vasconcelos.
The history of W & J Graham's spans three centuries and throughout that time this acclaimed Port producer has remained an independent family business. The story of Graham's is the story of two families, both of Scottish origin - the Grahams and the Symingtons - whose commitment to the making of exceptional wines has earned for Graham's a reputation as a leader in the production of the finest Vintage Ports.
Visit to Taylor's Group, Fonseca Caves, hosted by Chris Forbes.
Taylor's is now over three hundred years old. It remains a family firm, owned still by relations of the original partners.
Chris also gave a book: Port & Cigar Guide (I loved it.... you must try it
After the two visits in Vila Nova de Gaia, I got the train to Pinhao where I have visited Quinta do Portal
QUINTA DO PORTAL..... MY FAVORITE PLACE INDEED....
I have arrived at Pinhao station at 5.50pm. Manuel Ferreira who is the Manager of Turism for the Quinta do Portal was waiting for me at the station... from there we went to Quinta do Portal where I had a appoitment with the winemaker Paulo Coutinho.
After a quick tour to the Quinta ... the tasting started .... had a pleasure to have a tasting together and discuss about each wine and winemaking.
Manuel Ferreira and Paulo Coutinho
After our wine tasting we had dinner (Food & Wine Matching) where I have the opportunity to see Paulo's passion for food, he gives the necessary importance for the flavours and textures of food, he listened my opinions .... at the end we ended up trying more wines that we expected hahahaha!
Quinta do Portal www.quintadoportal.com has embraced wine & turism. Casa das Pipas (where I stayed for one night) is located at Quinta do Portal on the Pinhao River Valley, surrounded by a famous landscape of vineyards.
Quinta do Portal is a place that I recommend, if you go to Pinhao you MUST VISIT QUINTA DO PORTAL.
Casa das Pipas
Breakfast at Casa das Pipas, Quinta do Portal.
9.00am left Quinta do Portal by taxi and went to Quinta Vale Dona Maria
Quinta Vale Dona Maria is located in the Rio Torto Valley, in the heart of the Douro Demarcated Region, has incredible potential of great wines!
After my visit we went to have lunch in the guest house where I have met the winemarkers and owner...the women leader the house hahahaha
Quinta do Vallado
2.50pm visit to Quinta do Vallado, hosted by Francisco Ferreira. Established in 1716, is one of the oldest and most famous Quintas in the Douro Valley, still belongs to the family descendants.
Quinta do Mourao
5.00pm visit to Quinta do Mourao, hosted by the owner Miguel Braga.
Producer of great Douro red wines and Old Port Tawnies, they have created their own Ports brand and they conserve in cask a valuable stock of rich matured rare wines that Miguel supplies to some of the most renowned commercial brands of Port to be ythe base of blends for 10, 20, 30 and 40 years old tawnies!
Tasting with Bolinho de Bacalhau....delicioussssss!
Quinta do Soalheiro
10.30am visit to Quinta do Soalheiro, located in Melgaco in northen Portugal, just facing the border with Spain. The family started bottling the first Alvarinho, the terroir is perfect for the Alvarinho grape, Soalheiro is one of the top white wines in Portugal.
Today the winery has oenological equipments that allows control of vinification.
Soalheiro has been nominated as Producer of the Year 2009 by Revista dos Vinhos and Quinta de Soalheiro Alvarinho Primeiras Vinhas 2006 gained 90 points by Robert Parker
THANK YOU VINITUR!!!
France - Burgundy
Vosne-Romanee is a commune rich in grand cru climats, and a village replete with growers of the higfhest quality
The whole of the Burgundy vineyards, producing controlled appellation wines (A.O.C) is officially described as Viticultural Burgundy which was defined by a judgment of the Civil Tribunal of Dijon on the 29th April 1930.
Domaine Anne Gros Vineyards: TERROIRS
Harvesting for Anne Gros....
First Day: Bourgogne Rouge
I cut my finger twice in the first 20 minutes of harvesting.... apart from that ..... it was great, a bit cold in the morning. We have started at 8am, lunch at 12pm for two hours...back at 2pm until 6pm.
Second Day: Clos Vougeot GRAND CRU
It was planted in 1905. In reality, the regularity of replanting makes the average age of the parcel 50 years old.
Photo below: Jean Francois (Belgium) and Cynthia Jenson (English), the kindest people i the crew... we had a great time together.
Cynthia has a blog http://2008harvest.lucinthiadesigns.co.uk/blog where she writes her experience during her travels and harvests...she is wonderful... so much passion and knowledge, treats wine with so much respect, loved it!!
Third Day: Richebourg GRAND CRU
it's a name that evokes richness, even a certain heaviness... which sometimes can be attributed to the confusion some people have.
Dinner at Domaine Anne Gros:
Madame Gros, Cynthia, Patrick and Pascal
Nuits Saint Georges vineyards:
My beautiful and sexy Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir: No other wine conjures up poetic descriptions like pinot noir.... no other wine forges as direct a path to the sou (Drawing by Peter and Maria Hoey) . If a wine could make a person cry, it would have to be a pinot noir. A wine like this is bound to have a pretty big mystique, and pinot noir wears its like a rap star wears gold. It's a femme fatale. It's a temperamental artist. It's very sensitive.
I love Pinot Noir ....the most perfect grape in the world.... elegant and delicate!!!
The PINOT NOIR is tattooed on my arm and also on my SOUL :)