In Companhia das Lezírias, the wine grows among horses and owls
I spent a whole day at Companhia das Lezírias, and it wasn’t enough to see not even half of the 18.000 hectares (roughly 44.500 acres) that make the estate. And since more than half of it is forest area, this is a real lung for the city of Lisbon!
I woke up in one of the lovely bungalows that accommodate visitors to the estate. Picture several small wooden lodges in the middle of the forest, overlooking the swimming pool, cicadas and tree leaves rushing to the wind are all you can hear, with a hint of fado from the speakers from the horse ring, in the background.
The horse breeding stud at Companhia das Lezírias is one of the oldest and most beloved and admired in the country, making lessons and horse ridding some of the many activities available. ‘Coudelaria’ (horse breeding stud) is also the name of the restaurante where I had lunch offering, traditional Portuguese cuisine, with just the right feel of homemade cooking!
From the horse ring, I drove to the cellar and to the new wine shop. The latter was carefully designed and decorated with the different wines from this brand, it is a modern and roomy shop, and where dozens of owls seem to be watching you from the shelves with their probing eyes! The most recent creation by Companhia das Lezírias is Tyto Alba wine, named after the latin denomination for the Tower Owl, which so happened to feel most at home in the estate, now home to the largest community of the species in Portugal.
The great big eyes of the Tyto Alba Owl make the labels on the bottles, and the vines the originate this unique wine grow right in the middle of the forest, giving this wine its fresh, green, forestry scent.
The day ended at EVOA – Espaço de Visitação e Observação das Aves (a site created expressively for bird watching) and it could not have ended in a better mood! This is where nature takes over until there are no longer signs of mankind. That afternoon I was able to quietly watch an incredible array of birds, by the Tagus estuary, while the sun set down and the warm breeze blew… For the scene to be perfect, I just missed to have on hand a good glass of white wine Companhia das Lezírias!