Wines of Alentejo’s Regional Experiences

Quinta do Quetzal Wines Is Set in The Heart of The Alentejo

I had a 10-day whirlwind tour of Portugal; a couple days in Lisbon post Alentejo, and the beginning of the visit in the Wines of Alentejo region of Portugal. For my tour, it was quite evident that a lot of foresight and thought was put into each experience, created by The Wines of Alentejo.  Being invited to visit and walk away with a sense of careful planning, immense beauty in the Alentejo as a destination, and experiencing fabulous wines in their food and wine settings, it was really remarkable. If I hadn’t taken a lot of images, I would have a much harder time to even begin to recount all that happened. And so my journey with you begins with Quinta do Quetzal’s Wines.

In a review, it is called “Fantástica experiência , vale bem a pena a visita.” (Fantastic experience , well worth the visit) Fantastic experience, indeed. I can second that comment.

Quinta do Queztal

Arriving at Quinta do Queztal

This is a fun fact from Quinta do Quetzal, with some of my input: …”is set in the heart of the Alentejo region. It’s located on the rich slopes of Vidigueira, close to the oldest known Roman winery in Portugal and Spain. Vidigueira is a town in the District of Beja in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 5,932 (not updated as of then), in an area of 78,236 acres.

For me, there’s no better way to learn about wines, than pairing them with appropriate foods. And, who better to choose that menu? Right, a chef and Chef João Mourato did a great job! But, I’m getting way ahead of myself on this one. Let’s first start in their gravity flow winery. My images are going to take you through see what was documented, on a tour.

GRAVITY FLOW

The wines arrive at the elevation of this rooftop. The red soil always tells us it’s volcanic soil. Here is where the process begins for winemaking.

Rooftop at Quinta do Quetzal

Leading to the rooftop at Quinta do Quetzal

Upon arrival, from this point, a truck carrying grapes has a long hose, which connects to this opening below, in the next image. Grapes are gently moved from the truck to the opening. Notice how the cover has an easy spot for opening.

The beginning step of gravity flow... hose to an opening of the tank, flowing downward.

The beginning step of gravity flow… hose to an opening of the tank, flowing downward.

In this next image, we are one level down from the roof, and can see where the grapes are headed.

Arrival at the point of gravity flow.

Arrival at the point of gravity flow.

GRAVITY FLOW: The wines arrive at the elevation of the roof. A hose from the truck expands to and down into the stainless steel fermenting tank.

The tank is now ready to accept wine grapes.

The tank is now ready to accept wine grapes.

One image lower, we were on the bottom level, where fermentation is guided, and then wines are stored.

Ground floor stainless steel tanks.

Ground floor stainless steel tanks.

CHALLENGE: Look at these images, then return this evening, with a glass of wine in your hand and revisit them. You can get back to me and tell me what differences you observed, in your own thinking about wine and its process.

Some wines ferment in stainless steel (small lots in this image) and some in oak barrels.

Some wines ferment in stainless steel (small lots in this image) and some in oak barrels.

When it’s all said and done, a wine cellar is intoxicating with its aromas. You won’t get light headed, you body won’t absorb alcohol, but you won’t be the same after visiting a wine production facility, also known as a wine cellar.

My first foray into a wine cellar changed my life, which I dedicated to the process forevermore.

Now, more images of the winery.

Quinta do Quetzal wines

Quinta do Quetzal wines tasted during lunch… Simply fabulous, as small lots.

 

This sign shows the blend inside this Oak aging tank.

This sign shows the blend inside this Oak aging tank.

 

Off we go into more of the wine cellar!

Off we go into more of the wine cellar!

 

How bottles are stored, before they are about to be released as a new vintage. Very few people are allowed into this area. Light and warmth are the enemies of again.

How bottles are stored, before they are about to be released as a new vintage. Very few people are allowed into this area. Light and warmth are the enemies of wine.

 

Just a beautiful view that can’t be denied!

Coming are not only an art museum, but also a restaurant. I believe they deflect from this production facility, but combined with foods and wines, they’ll make for another lovely story. They’re up next.

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So there… I’m not kidding myself.