My international trip last year was Portugal. Visited several portions of the country, which of course included wineries!
While in Coimbra, my friend and I had exhausted our tourism options for the day. It was only about 4pm so we were trying to figure out what to do. He turned to google and found there were a couple local wineries! We were able to check one out via a last minute booking at Vinhos Prior Lucas.
We arrived at 6pm (not like you would at a US winery) to meet with the owner. It was just the 2 of us (and the owner). Nice, talk about private tasting. He’d needed a little extra time to finish some other work, which was the reason for it being so late.
When we all caught up, he opened the doors to the industrial-like tasting room and showed us around. He then went through the history of him starting the vineyard. He was tired of his desk jobs, wanted to get into what he loves and started this just a few years ago. It’s a small winery, as of now “we explore 5ha of vineyard divided by 7 plots and we have laid down, enlarge the area planted with vines of more than 5 ha selected the best varieties in accordance with either the land, either with the varieties authorized by the Bairrada Region.”
As he continued to tell us about all this, we were able to taste wines in each stage of production, from essentially day 1 in metal casks to bottle. Amazing! We also enjoyed sheep cheese from him grandpa’s farm (hence him wanted to start later). Really? This was amazing. Crackers and other stuff, too. This is unreal.
More conversation came to how wine production was in process, and one specific wine. He asked if we wanted to stomp. I’d stomped by foot a couple days prior, so I was yea or nay. Come to find out, this was hand stomping! The grapes were so delicate, they needed a delicate touch. How could I say no? So much fun!
He continued telling us about the Portugese wine market as we asked him about wine cost (we were definitely buying some). While he/his vineyard is growing, it is still slow and difficult because his wine is considered expensive in Portugal. In USD, it’s $8-$12 dollars/bottle. I could have purchased a couple cases. But in his country, many people think it’s overpriced and it can be difficult to sell. I killed me to only grab 4 bottles because of suitcase space. My friend had to buy a suitcase to get his wine home…
This is one of the best wine tastings I’ve ever been on. I think we tasted 6 wines (yeah, some refills, too), and great wines, amazing. Please check it out if you visit the country. Cheers!