Three times full: AWS visits Ribafreixo
On Wednesday 22 March, a full coach of 50 AWS members headed north to Vidigueira and the Ribafreixo estate, which has been producing wine for the last decade. In 2012 founders Mário Pinheiro and Nuno Bicó opened their new winery building, a strikingly modern landmark visible from the IP2 just south of Vidigueira. Inside, the winemaking facilities are also state of the art with an emphasis on purity and quality made possible by strict temperature control from the moment the grapes enter the building at harvest time. Most of the production, dominated by the whites that are their speciality, is exported, but Ribafreixo wines are also available in Portugal and visitors to the winery can taste and buy.
The AWS group did a good deal of both tasting and buying, giving the wines full marks for high quality at a reasonable price. The stylishly designed tasting area and restaurant show the influence of Mario Pinheiro’s earlier life in South Africa, with panoramic views of the vineyard providing a memorable setting for a truly memorable lunch of bacalhau with spinach, veal with herbs and local pastries. So, full of delicious food and bearing their “full marks” wine purchases, a full coachload set off back to the Algarve in good spirits.
Event Organiser Nick Sykes with AWS President Gaynor Stapleton and Mário Pinheiro, Ribafreixo