Few wineries are as well equipped to accommodate visitors as the Adega Mãe, one of the latest Portuguese wine tourism projects.
Opened last November in Torres Vedras by Riberalves, a group dedicated to the manufacture and trade in cod, coffee and real estate, this new investment “makes sense, because it not only allowed the group to expand its business interests,” but also ” satisfied the family taste for wine,” explains Bernardo Alves, one of the sons of Riberalves’ founder and now responsible for the wine.
Designed by architect Pedro Mateus, the 4500m2 winery is set in the 40 hectare Quinta da Archeira vineyard, cost 5 million euros and can produce 1.2 million litres a year. It is capable of turning out the full range of wines; the first to be launched was Dory Colheita Tinto 2010 and more recently the Branco 2011. In the third quarter of next year the Dory Tinto Reserva 2010 is planned to be on the market. The name chosen (Dory) serves as an “umbrella” brand for the Adega Mãe wines and conjures up the old cod fishing tradition carried on by Portuguese fleets of small boats (dories) in the icy waters of the Atlantic, and establishes a parallel with the Riberalves group’s core business: the trade in cod.
Those visiting the property can see there is a big focus on white varieties, both Portuguese and international, including Alvarinho, Arinto, Viosinho, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Viognier. Reds are represented by Syrah, Caladoc, Aragonês and Alicante Bouschet, and they also buy in others such as Castelão or Touriga Nacional from small producers in the region. There is a good view of the vineyards from the large balcony on the top floor of the winery.
The winery stands out not only because of its wines, modern architecture and sober but sophisticated design. Visitors are delighted at the welcome they receive. As well as the guided tour of the premises itself, there is a step-by-step explanation of the complete wine-making process using 3D videos shown on plasma screens strategically placed around the winery and in dedicated viewing rooms. At the end, there is a tasting (Dory Tinto 2010 and Dory Branco 2011) costing €6.
For those wanting a more extensive programme, the Adega Mãe provides lunch (the salted cod dishes are definitely worth trying) and a tasting room which holds workshops and wine courses.
by Maria João de Almeida
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