At Casa da Passarella, each wine gives body to a story
The first time I walked in Casa da Passarella, I knew nothing about it. It looked like an ordinary estate: a cellar, a mansion, a wine shop, a museum with some farming artefacts… something most of the wineries in Dão region have!
But Casa da Passarella proved to be special for it has been standing since 1892, providing the background to the stories after which its wines are named.
Such is the one about the ‘Brazilian’ (BRAZILEIRO) Amândio de Oliveira who, tired of life in Portuguese countryside and daydreaming of Brazil, hid himself in the chimney of a ship on the way to South America. There he made fortune in the coffee trade. When he returned to Portugal he built 3 homes for his 3 sons, one of them in Passarella, so called for being the point of passage for Napoleon’s troops during the French invasions.
Or the story of the French Jew ‘Winemaker’ (OENÓLOGO), also known as ‘Fugitive’ (FUGITIVO), thanks to having escaped 2nd World War persecution and sought refuge here, where he fully let go of his love of vines and winemaking, marking the beginning of the quality winemaking at Passarella estate.
The capital letters are not a mistake. They are indeed the names of the wines from Casa da Passarella. You will also find ABANICO (Little Fan), A DESCOBERTA (the Discovery), ENXERTIA (the Graft) and the top of the line VILLA OLIVEIRA, each of them with its own story.
Paulo Nunes, the current winemaker, fully respects the history of the estate and wishes only to honour the remarkable work of his predecessors and carry on the refined character of the wines in the Dão region.
Soon, the main house of Passarella will get a makeover and become a boutique hotel. After spending some time on the balcony watching the sun go down behind the vineyard, I made an open reservation for one lovely bedroom, to indulge whenever they’re ready!