A visit to Quinta do Quetzal Tuesday 27th March 2018
International was truly the flavour of the day as the AWS headed north to Vidiguiera on Wednesday 21 March. Members originating from France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands took part in this day trip to Quinta do Quetzal for a tour followed by a tasting lunch.
An innovative venture under Dutch ownership and run by a Swiss Director-General, this winery not only produces a range of quality wines, it also houses part of the art collection of the De Bruin-Heijn family. Overlooking the property is the pilgrimage chapel of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, constrasting with the adega and the restaurant, strikingly designed modern buildings set in the Alentejo landscape and incorporating local materials, particularly the schist rock which gives the wine its minerality. The adega is designed to receive harvested grapes at the top of the building and use only gravity throughout the process ending in the cellar.
Gravity soon gave way to good cheer as AWS members tasted their way through a tapas-style meal, starting with Guadalupe Rosé accompanied by peixinhos da horta (garden fishies) or tempura green beans - a traditional favourite in a region that’s quite a distance from the sea, as explained by the estate’s director Reto Jörg. By way of eight more tapas, the party sampled the range of Quetzal wines, particularly savouring the Reserva tinto with veal strips cooked in red wine by the young chef Joao . As members departed with more than a few souvenir bottles, some were already considering returning for another special experience of both food and wine.