From Douro to Algarve
I am happy to share that my first article in the Algarve Plus Magazine has been already published!
The magazine is readable online or downloaded for free here.
Or read here the whole article:
From Douro to Algarve
IN THE HEART OF THE DOURO VALLEY, THERE IS A PEARL AMONG THE WINERIES, QUINTA DA FURADA, WHICH – AFTER DELIVERING ITS WINES TO THE PORT WINE HOUSES FOR SO MANY YEARS – RECENTLY CAME OUT WITH ITS FIRST OWN WINES, WITH WHICH THE PRODUCER NOW WANTS TO CONQUER THE WINE LOVERS OF THE ALGARVE AS WELL.
I am sure that if I mention the name of Douro, there is no anybody who does not know what it means. The Douro is a world-famous wine region, situated in the north part of Portugal. Its landscape is part of the World Heritage Site of UNESCO, and its wines are very popular worldwide.
If you want to visit the beautiful Douro Valley, take several days to admire it thoroughly and of course have time to visit a couple of Quintas where you can taste excellent wines.
But if you don’t have the opportunity or time to travel this long journey, grab a fantastic Douro wine from a nearby store, sit out on your patio and the rest can only be limited by your imagination. Through their wines, the winemakers bring to us the terroir where they live and work.
This is that same magic that the Quinta da Furada winery would like to bring to us now.
This more than 200-year-old Quinta, located in Ervedosa de Douro, now wants to expand its presence in the magnificent Algarve as well, looking for partners in the form of exclusive wine bars, restaurants, hotels and wine shops.
The Quinta belongs to the same family for at least seven generations, keeping secrets, stories, flavors and mysteries. The name “Furada” comes from the many ancient holes and excavations in the soil still found today and that has always been attributed to the search for precious metals since the Romans passed through the territory searching for gold, later wolfram and more.
And what sets this vineyard apart from the others? The pre-phylloxera vines and the very old olive grove with the region’s oldest, beautiful olive tree. This Quinta is one of those vineyards in the Douro that were affected by the 19th-century fatal disease of phylloxera only in part.
The soil is essentially schist, and also granitic, and the vineyard constituted from 25000 very old vines and another 25000 ones from more recent plantations. They have mostly native grape varieties, affected by different solar radiations and altitudes. The main grapes are the Rufete, Aparecida, Casculho, Tinta da Barca, Tinta Carvalha, Mourisco Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Francisca, Tinto Cão, Alicante Bouchet, Sousão, Barroca, Ferral, Viosinho, Uva Meloa, Gouveio, Códega do Lourinho, Malvasia Rei, Malvasia Fina, Cercial, Bical, Rabigato, Moscatel, Fernão Pires and Boal do Douro.
They make their products with a strong commitment to the Douro region. In 2017, the Quinta opened its own store called Pata D’Urso, located in Ribeira do Porto, where you can taste and buy not only its wines but also its other products, such as olives, olive oil, honey, dried figs, almonds and vegetables.
And also the good news that the Furada Port wines, still aging in old barrels, will make their debut soon. First will be presented the White Port with a remarkable balance in concentration, aroma and freshness. Then comes out their Tawny Furada Port of silky taste.
Have you ever tasted the nectar of the Gods? If not, let me show you wonderful examples! Thanks to the producer, I was delighted to be able to taste his excellent Pata d’Urso wines and I am honored to show them to the wine lovers in the Algarve now.
If we look at the wine, the first thing that is very conspicuous is the well-designed label.
The name of these wines Pata d’Urso means Bear Paw in English. The origin of this name is a very interesting story. In one old book of the Quinta, there was a very interesting episode about the existence of bears on the territory before the 18th century. At that time, bear hunting was a privilege only for a few, and whenever a bear was hunted, the hunter had to pay the charge, giving one or two paws of the bear to the landowner or Lamego’s bishop, because the paw was considered a true “delicacy of the Gods”.
Thus comes the name of the first own wines of the winery, which marks the beginning of the production of Pata d’Urso wines from Quinta da Furada, since until 2017 all grapes of the Quinta were transformed into Port wines of the famous exporting houses from the Douro Valley like Ramos-Pinto, Wisie Krohn, Taylor’s and finally Niepoort.
- Pata d’Urso Tinto 2017
This red wine was produced in the vintage of 2017 which year was classified as the 2nd hottest and the 4th driest year since 1931, with precipitation values much lower than normal. The harvest took place in August from the old vines of the Quinta, some over 120 years old, growing between 250-400 meters in altitude, with south, east and west exposure, with a small area facing north. The early harvest allowed to produce a fresh and elegant wine from grapes with balanced natural acidity. About 2 years of refinement in French oak barrels and 9 months of rest in the bottle, resulting in this beautiful wine.
This is a complex red wine with a light ruby color. Intense fruity aromas of red berries, with some smoke and vanilla.
On the palate, remarkable complexity and a lovely bouquet of red fruits and jams, mixed with a touch of coffee and dried figs. Good concentration and magnificent texture with a perfect balance between excellent acidity and round tannins. The wood is well integrated into the wine, making it elegant. A full-bodied, fruity dry drink, ending in a very persistent, silky and velvety finish.
An excellent wine with good aging potential.
The ancient and resistant vineyards of the Douro, together with the unique conditions of this region and the producer’s dream, allowed the birth of this wonderful wine!
- Pata d’Urso Branco 2019
The white wine is the result of the recent, youngest vines of the Quinta, but respectful of the old white grape varieties of the Douro Valley vineyards, fermented at controlled temperature, aged in both stainless steel vats and oak barrels.
The drink presents a light citrus color in the glass, and very intensive fruity and floral aromas, mostly tropical fruits, with some notes of lemon and white flowers.
On the palate, the wine has very complex but balanced flavors. The sweetness of the ripe, tropical fruits mixed with the pickles of lemon, accompanied by a touch of lemon peel. Very fresh wine with a strong but natural acidity that keeps us a long persistent finish, giving the wine elegance.
A world of aromas and flavors in one bottle! An excellent wine with beautiful freshness and aftertaste.
- Pata d’Urso Rosé 2019
The Rosé wine is the result of a rigorous selection of the oldest grape varieties of the Douro present in the old vineyards of Quinta da Furada.
After the manual harvest, the grapes were crushed and de-stemmed. The pre-fermentation maceration was carried out at low temperatures for 24 hours. Afterward, the must was removed to make this rosé. The fermentation process was carried out in the used, 600-liter French oak barrels for 6 months.
The wine presents a beautiful, very deep pink color, full of aromas of red fruits, strawberry and raspberry, with floral touches of rose petals, and a hint of the subtlety of vanilla.
On the palate, surprisingly elegant and smooth, dry wine, with light tannins, ending in a long and fresh finish, filled with pleasant acidity.
Finally, let me tell you a secret with the winemaker’s permission: the Pata D’Urso White 2020, Rosé 2020 and Red 2018 are going to be delivered this August. So, what are you waiting for?
These wines are available from Pata d’Urso Store in Ribeira do Porto.
If you want also to visit the Quinta da Furada winery, you are very welcomed by the owner at his vineyard with a tour with tasting.
And if you are interested in these excellent Pata d’Urso wines for your business, do not hesitate to contact the producer for more details!
Phone: +351 918 119 125 (Duarte Alegre)
Store: Ribeira do Porto, on Rua de São Francisco 28. (Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 7pm.) (Next to the Church of São Francisco /Last stop of Tram No. 1 in Ribeira (Infante) ). E: email@example.com