Bacalhôa estate is a wine museum and cellar where you’ll toast to art!
The history of wine in Bacalhôa started in the 70s with the planting of the first grape vines. But that is only one of the stories revolving around Palácio da Bacalhôa!
The palace was built by Maria Brites in 1480, as a wedding gift to her son Manuel I. Since she was a well travelled lady, and had spent some time in Italy, the palace was built following the Italian Renaissance style. Later, the property was handed to Brás de Albuquerque (son of the Vice King of India) that left his mark through Indian influenced details. Fast forward several generations and, after a long period during which the estate was abandoned and left to ruin, in the Thirties, Orlena Scoville, American lady, fell in love with it and renovated the property to its present standard. Finally, it got to the current owner, Joe Berardo.
Wandering on the breezy balconies of the palace, with view to the vineyard, or stopping at the porches by the lake where long boat rides used to take place, I can easily picture many ‘dolce fare niente moments’ in this place!
Following the multicultural heritage of the estate, Berardo set up a beautiful exhibition in both Bacalhôa palace and cellar, where he shares his private collection with visitors – statues and original artifacts from Africa, Bordalo Pinheiro pieces, Art Deco furniture and a wide gallery of tiles from the 15th century.
Although I would say that a visit to Bacalhôa Palace will further please art lovers, than wine enthusiasts, I refused to leave without making sure!
A standard visit will include Catarina white wine – the name was taken from Queen Catarina de Bragança, whom Joe Berardo greatly admires – and JP Private Selection. But I managed to swap them for the Quinta da Bacalhôa red and white and Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal (purple muscatel), and left this wine museum in much livelier spirits!