On our last full day of the e-Spain and Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Wine tour to Portugal, we began the day with a visit to the Vinho Verde wine region in northern Portugal. The region’s climate is well-suited to growing white wine grapes, although a few growers are working with red wine grapes.
Our first stop of the day was Quintas de Megaço which is a family winery focused on producing Alvarinho wines with grapes sourced from growers in the Vinho Verde Region. The winemaker, Helio Barreiros is enthusiastic about the winemaking at the winery.
After our lengthly tour and wine tasting at the winery, we enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant. The restaurant was small and a narrow way led to the stair. At the bottom of the stairway, a room for dining had been set aside for our group. We were fortunate that we had lunch at the same table as the winemaker. He was exuberant and friendly while answering many questions. The most interesting comment he made was while talking about the red wines from the region. He firmly believes that the Vinho Verde region is meant for growing white wine grapes. However, when a red wine appeared on our table, he suggested that, “This red wine is not good enough for a wine glass.” He then asked the waiter to bring bowls to pour the red wine in and then told us to dunk bread in it.
After departing the restaurant, we went to Brejooeira which is a palace and a winery. The palace was built as a summer home, but the owner decided she liked it so much, she spent most of the year in it. After touring the palace and grounds, we had a wine tasting in a dedicated wine building near the palace.
Too soon it was time to take the long trek back to The Yeatman Hotel for the evening.