Quinta do Ameal is one of the main reasons why I love wine tourism!
I first tasted these wines at a busy event, in a single room in Lisbon, side by side with several other wine makers. I remember liking their product in particular. Though all wines present were made from Loureiro grapes (a quintessential Vinho Verde DOC variety, just like Alvarinho), each one proved to have its own strong character and personality. They’re organic wines, some aged, some not, and for that reason, very special.
Visiting Quinta do Ameal in Ponte de Lima, however, was a fresh new experience altogether! As soon as you walk in, you’re warmly welcomed by a passageway covered by purpled wisteria that drops its petals, covering the ground as gently as snow. It was gloomy rainy day when I went there, but even with cold wet feet, I had a peek at all the floral nooks in the estate.
Bought in 1990 by Pedro Araújo’s father, the current winemaker, beyond the already set vineyard, there were 5 unused abandoned dwellings. Two years ago, after a conscious decision to commit himself to winemaking, Pedro decided to rebuild the dwellings and turn them into accommodation for wine lovers interested in learning more about the Vinho Verde region.
Three of the houses have already been tastefully renovated, all featuring different décors, multiple bedrooms, lounge and kitchen, and an open air shower with a view of either the vineyard or an amazing bamboo forest!
At Quinta do Ameal you can visit the cellar, but you will also be able to enjoy its wines by a cosy fireplace at any of the above houses, or, on a sunny day, by the pool.
There is no restaurant in the estate, but every home is fully equipped with a top kitchen so you can let your cooking creativity run free. For those who cherish their holidays and rather skip meal preparation duty, I vouch for Cozinha Velha restaurant next door, with its traditional homemade cooking, served in Portuguese style, in generous portions, so you won’t go home hungry!
‘Many other things could be said and told, but I would rather invite you for a drink of Ameal. Even better, come for a visit, to witness in loco what we are about’ – quote by the owner of Quinta do Ameal, which I fully endorse!