One of the first days of our stay in Portugal we visited a vineyard situated in the town called Grândola, around 100 km south from Lisbon.
I was both excited and a little nervous about this project because it was in effect the first time that I would meet someone because of the blog. Everything had been quite virtual so far, but now I finally had the chance to step out, meet and collaborate in person, face to face, with someone. Actually it was great to share this experience with Klaus, because we could see this visit from different perspectives and angles that surely will enrich this review and make it more complete.
Once arrived to A Serenada, we were welcomed by Telma, a charming Portuguese lady that runs the property in account of the owner.
This beautiful property has been kept for 300 years under the same family. The owner of this 23 hectares property is Jacinta Sobral, which inherited it from her father, who planted the first vineyard as a hobby. The tradition can be seen in so many aspects in A Serenada, not only from the location and the interiors, but also from how they make wine, the food offered to the guests who stay overnight and the way everything is run there.
Originally there used to be only one building, that has been rebuilt and now works as a reception and a wine tasting area. I fell in love with this amazing glass wall that looks at the vast countryside:
From 2013 the touristic part of the activity was started, and here’s where Telma plays the key role. They started with 4 rooms and expanded in 2015 with other 2 suits. I think that A serenada is perfect for couples that want to relax, immerse in the nature, but at the time we went there would also be families, so it could be a good destination for everyone who enjoys tranquility.
Aren’t these tables marvelous? They are made out of marble, abundant material in Portugal, and old sewing machine legs. Love the combination!
The day we visited “A Serenada” was beautiful but very hot, so Telma had the brilliant idea of serving us a selection of their best white wines, which was definitely a refreshing experience. The wine tasting included 4 wines. Now I have to make clear, that we are not wine experts, but still we were let to make our own conclusions of the wines we were tasting; nobody was telling us what we are supposed to find in the taste and what we are supposed to think about it, so that was very nice and tells a lot about the respect that “A Serenada” holds for their guests and, of course, wine.
Now, as to life, there are many different approaches to wine too. I find the world of wine extremely fascinating, and sometimes it’s nice to analyze more, but mainly I just like to enjoy it. If your approach is similar, A Serenada is the perfect place for you. As you can see from the pictures, it’s a quite isolated place despite its relatively short distance from Lisbon. As far as the eye can see, there’s only forest and nature on the horizon. So here you can really give your undivided attention for the wine and just live in the moment. And the staff support this too. Of course they’ll tell you everything about the making process of the wine and all the prizes they’ve won, if that’s what you want, but that is never the main point. The point is to make you feel at ease, enjoy the nature and good food, all seasoned with traditions and coziness.
So here’s what I can remember about the wines we tasted that day.
The first was a blend of Gouveio and Arinto grapes matured in stainless steel tanks for 3 months. In my opinion very easy going, but not boring, sophisticated taste. Fruity, some clementine, light. Hints of minerals, even salt. Easy to compare with classic white wine dishes.
The second was Verdelho, a grape that comes from Portugal and Spain. Herbal and again fruity, citrus fruits especially. Full bodied, goes well even with more complex dishes. Persistent finish.
The third one, Cepas Cinquentenárias, was my favorite. It’s a field blend of the grapes in the old vineyard, Basically just separating reds from whites and using what remains. The grapes are also not irrigated, so they have to make it on their own and that’s why the taste is fuller and stronger. When starting the activity again, the (new owner) heir of the property had to invite a specialist to identify the grapes, so now we know that the blend was of grapes Fernão Pires, Arinto, Rabo de ovelha, Trincadeira das Pratas, Bica, Malvasia Fina . Say anything to you? Me neither. Now iÍ know that oak divides people, I personally like it more in white wines than reds. This one was first matured in stainless steel tanks and then in oak barrels of 225 liter for 9 months. I loved it, really fresh oak there in the taste. The personality of this one is very old school, but also versatile. It goes well with fish, cheeses and even meat dishes. More complex, more elegant than the two previous ones.
The fourth was the Special Edition with Covelho and Viognier. This one was definitely the mind blower, understandably served last, because nothing would go to places that this one does. Utterly complex, very full bodied, exciting, and just wow. This is best to enjoy it on its own and don’t cool it too much. Actually the wine is so complex, that they even asked for ideas what to serve with it. Well, Thaïs created something inspired by it, and you can read the post about her Eucalyptus honey medlar ice cream here!