AUTHENTIC WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE IN ALGARVE
Imagine sipping on a glass of wine as the afternoon sun peers through a 2,000 year old olive tree. Imagine feeling the warmth of the Algarve sun on your face. Imagine sitting under a terrace at wooden table decorated with linen, wild flowers and sharing boards of Portuguese nibbles. Imagine rows and rows and rows of vines reaching out to the horizon looking out towards Algarve’s highest peak in the distance. Imagine a collection of whitewashed Portuguese farm buildings with blue wooden shutters. Imagine an orchard of fig and olive trees waiting to be picked. Imagine the feeling of contentedness wash over you as you soak up all the simple pleasures in life – sunshine, good food, good wine and good friends.
Welcome to Morgado do Quintão – Algarve’s landmark estate.
I was very kindly gifted this wine tasting experience by Morgado do Quintão. All opinions are entirely my own and as always, I only ever recommend experiences I have personally taken part in and truly enjoyed. My goal is to seek out authentic, local experiences around the world. It is through this quest I am able to share true hidden gems and ‘off-the-beaten path’ experiences with you.
ABOUT MORGADO DO QUINTÃO
The Morgado do Quintão estate has been in the same family for over 300 years. It was first founded by the count of Silves way back in 1810. Hows that for a piece history?!
The vineyards are among the oldest in the Algarve which in itself is pretty cool, but what I really love is how genuinely understated Morgado do Quintão is. It is unmistakably beautiful but in the most real way you can imagine. It is a working vineyard and farm and this is obvious from the second you step foot on the estate. The drive in takes you through a small blue gate (that can only be opened when you call manager Duarte) and then through wild scrub land dotted with olive trees and a couple quintas for good measure. It is a true picture of rural life in Algarve despite being just a short drive from some of the region’s busiest beaches and towns.
Many people believe you can’t find ‘real’ Portugal In the Algarve region. People understandably think it is too overrun with holiday resorts, development and tourists. For a small section of the coastline and in some towns this is true; but Algarve is a wildly diverse region and you only have to take a short drive out of any of the main tourist hubs to find authentic experiences and a real glimpse of Portugal’s charm. When I very first visited the Algarve I too considered this less ‘Portuguese’ than other regions but in the last 3 years I have both purposely searched for and accidentally stumbled across pockets of history, culture and tradition that has made me fall even more in love with this region.
You only have discover a hidden gem like Morgado do Quintão to realise that rather than searching for real Portugal we should be seeking out real Algarve. A region in its own right.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT MORGADO DO QUINTÃO
There are many so many wonderful reasons to visit Algarve’s landmark estate and vineyard.
Maybe you are on holiday and want to take part in an authentic experience unique to Algarve? Maybe you want to see the beauty of the region whilst supporting a locally run business? Maybe you want to learn more about the whole wine-making process from growing to tasting? Or just maybe – you just want to drink really good wine and make delicious memories? Theres no doubt about it you’ll certainly feel a little closer to Algarve after your visit.
It is also worth noting Morgado do Quintão can also be hired for small events like intimate weddings and birthdays. I’m not even engaged but after walking around the farm I have already earmarked it as a potential venue for my unplanned wedding!
WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES AT MORGADO DO QUINTÃO
Right, lets get to the best bit – wine tasting! Morgado do Quintão has two wine tasting options to choose (standard and premium)or you can book an intimate lunch experience. The tastings and lunch are held in the most perfect setting you could imagine – under the 2,000 year old olive tree with views across the vineyard. We took part in the premium wine tasting.
A PREMIUM WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE
EXPERIENCE TYPE : An intimate vineyard tour, 3-4 premium wine tastings and a (large) selection of petiscos (Portuguese small bites, like tapas!). The experience takes around 1.5 hours.
WHEN : Every weekday at 4pm. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 the estate is currently closed for tastings. However you can still book in advance by purchasing a gift card. This is the perfect way to support local business whilst having something to look forward to in the future – something we all need right now! Buy a gift card here.
COST : €25 pp.
TELL ME MORE : The premium tasting takes place at 4pm when the light is just perfect. The short drive through the farmland will instantly get you in the mood for wine tasting as you roll past fruit trees and quintas. On arrival to the estate you’ll be greeted by Duarte who has both knowledge and passion in abundance. Duarte will ensure you feel at home and then guide you through the tasting with expert knowledge. You’ll enjoy the wine whilst nibbling on tasty Portuguese treats such as goats cheese, garlicky carrots and cured meats.
After the tasting you’ll be treated to a short tour of the vineyard and farm where you can marvel at the stunning landscape including the beautiful Monchique in the distance. The vineyard is incredibly private, serene and calming. You’ll leave feeling like you have just discovered a hidden gem that you don’t want to share. Please DO share it though. It is so important (now more than ever) to support small businesses like this in the Algarve. Morgado do Quintão are doing amazing things for Algarve’s heritage and conservation. By visiting and tasting you are helping them with their mission.
I have taken many vineyard tours/wine tastings in the Algarve region and one thing is obvious – these small scale family run vineyards are incredibly passionate about the region and the wine it produces. They are both protective and celebratory about using traditional and organic methods. It is very likely you’ll leave these vineyards with not only a case of wine but a new appreciation for the work that goes on behind the scenes too.
TELL ME ABOUT THE WINE
I’ll start by saying what I say at the beginning of all my wine related guides – I am not a wine expert. I do however enjoy wine and I have taken part in many tours, tastings and experiences since moving to Portugal 4 years ago. Discovering Portugal’s (somewhat underrated) wine scene has become one of my favourite hobbies and it looks set to continue.
Read about my favourite wine tasting experiences in Douro Valley.
We tasted 3 incredibly delicious and memorable wines during the experience at Morgado do Quintão all of which were delightfully drinkable. We couldn’t leave without a bottle of the Castelão.
I have chosen not to go into specifics about the wine I tasted during this experience as it is much better described by Duarte or a member of the team at Morgado. I do however want to talk to you about some of the reasons why this wine is so special.
Morgado do Quintão support and practice traditional methods. Their grapes are harvested by hand (a beautiful picture in itself) but also crushed by foot. To me this historical and romantic process is the ultimate tick box in traditional wine making. The grapes are indigenous to Algarve and the vineyard is well on its way to being certified organic. You only have to read the introduction to Morgado do Quintão to fall in love with the award-winning wine and the story behind it.
Whilst demand for Portuguese wine outside of Portugal seems to be growing I still believe the country, and in particular, the Algarve region is massively under-appreciated. If you want a taste of real Portugal whilst supporting local business please buy directly from producers such as Morgado do Quintão.
Even more amazing is that in 2020 Morgado do Quintão are donating €1 per bottle to the Portuguese Red Cross who are working hard to in the fight against COVID-19.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my wine tasting experience at Morgado do Quintão in Algarve. Whilst I have done my best to share the experience with you nothing can beat experiencing it for yourself and hearing the story directly from those who know it best – the team at Morgado do Quintāo.
Pin for later . . .
More from Algarve….