27 October, 2021       LISBON - MAX. Pleasant with plenty of sunshineº, MIN. 01º

1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Folders  |  Quinta dos Cozinheiros: Tradition of Respect for the Environment
Quinta dos Cozinheiros: Tradition of Respect for the Environment
Nathalie Amey
Quinta dos Cozinheiros: Tradition of Respect for the Environment

This property belongs to the «Beira Litoral» region, just below Figueira da Foz, at Marinha das Ondas, about 8 km from the sea. To be honest, it's quite hard to find a living soul in the area to ask for directions to the Quinta dos Cozinheiros. But this means that you have plenty of time to enjoy the splendid scenery filled with copses, forests, pastures, fields and vineyards.

A calm, restful setting where time seems to have stood still.  In this green haven, the owner José Mendoça grows vines in accordance with his philosophy in life: preserving nature and letting the insects that inhabit the vine go about their business.

To protect the vine from these unwanted "guests" he uses ecological methods, inclusding for example "gender confusion": a process where the blind male bugs who seeks out the smell of the female in order to reproduce are attracted to the vine trailer fencing that includes a system that gives off the same smell as the female.

Thus duped, reproduction cannot occur and the spread of the insect is stopped. Here the vines are also managed using traditional methods, by hand: the placement of the vines, orientation, height of the plants, and the way in which they are trailed are all studied to ensure the grapes ripen. Machines cannot replace work by hand, and some tasks require a sharp eye and know-how, for example removing grapes that will not develop, selecting the bunches that are ready to pick and removing vegetation from the picked bunches prior to the wine-making process. Particular care and attention are given to the cellar: a subtle blend of traditional and modern techniques. The placing in barrels is a crucial moment in defining the wine at the Quinta dos Cozinheiros, using barrels that come from the Allier region in France, chosen because their fine grain helps the wine to express and develop Its character.

The Quinta dos Cozinheiros produces the “Branco dos Cozinheiros" made using 100% Maria Gomes grapes, a  rosé called the Lagar, the Poeirinho, the « Espumante » dos Cozinheiros and the Utopia. The result is elegant reds, full-bodied and typical of the, grape variety that dominates in this region: the  Poeirinho, also called Baga.

The 2004 Utopia made with the same grape variety is a red for all connoisseurs. The Utopia owes its name to a challenge: in this region of Portugal, the idea of a high quality wine seems utopia, but It's a challenge that José managed to pull-off. The grapes used in the Utopia are very carefully selected and only those with the right level of ripeness will be used to make utopia into reality, hence this wine is only produced in the very best years. A wine that invites you to sit by the open fire and meditate whilst staring into the orange flames given off by the vine cuttings as they burn. This feeling is a reflection of the place where the wine was produced - the property is a peaceful haven.

To appreciate this wine fully, Utopia 2004 should be served at a temperature of 18 degrees, so that the wine's aromas can open and the tannins can diffuse as they come into contact with the air in the glass. Noble meats such as game and beef are splendid with this wine, and try also some grilled chestnuts, from the open fire… However you decide to drink it, this is a wine that deserves to be drank in a relaxed atmosphere, in a moment of contemplation.

In memory of José,

© 2007  LIVINGINLISBON.COM  - All rights reserved