Quinta do Gradil it’s an excellent place to learn more about wines of Lisbon wine region
I knew beforehand that Marquês do Pombal was a man of sophisticated taste that held up for Portuguese wine. What I didn’t know was that Gradil estate was his at some point, and that by 1760 it was already a winemaking property.
Nowadays, you can feel Pombal’s influence in the estate in the ruins of an 18th century palace, together with its chapel, and the old refurbished cellar, in perfect working order these days, and the old barn made into an elegant restaurant.
Surrounding the premises are nearly 300 hectares of vineyard, where Arinto, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat – Argentinean caste perfectly accommodated to the terroir – among several other, thrive together.
But there is more beyond the grapevines! The wine tourism team offers visitors a walk through the property, where you can seize bits of its history like the aqueduct, that supplies the estate cistern to this day, and, at the very edge of the hill, the old mill.
After the walk, we moved to the tasting room. This room is filled with natural light and a stunning view over the vineyards and Montejunto hill, which helped me realise why, among the nearly 20 different bouquets by the estate, they all showcase a soft earthy scent, very fruity and a persistent after taste.
After the tasting, as usual, I couldn’t help myself and went to see the restaurant! The current owner of this centennial property, Luís Vieira, is a keen art lover, and chose to display at the restaurant, side by side with the once used traditional stills, several wine themed paintings and sculptures.
Despite of the cold winter day, the bright sun outside inspired the chef to put together a summer like menu starting off with gently fried scallops paired with white Quinta do Gradil Reserva. Roasted cod with spinach ensued, with red Castelo do Sulco Reserva. Finally, a delectable chocolate and chili mousse.
I returned home thinking that a walk through a vineyard in the morning, followed by a wine tasting and a beautiful meal is exactly what I would call a day well spent! Wouldn’t you agree?