Arrábida and Moscatel de Setúbal half day
Wine tourism tour around Lisbon, with wine tasting (5 wines), winnery visit, snack and private guide. Departure from Lisbon, by the 25th of April Bridge, heading south to wine tasting at Villa Nogueira de Azeitão, in the Setúbal peninsula, Muscatel wine region - generous wine exported since the XVth century. We’ ll visit two producers of table wines and Moscatel de Setúbal, including the rare Moscatel Roxo, of which only 20 hectares are cultivated worldwide. One of the producers represents the wine tradition of a family (1), while the other embodies modernity, arts and history (2)(3). In both cases, we would know the heritage of each and its facilities. We’ ll taste good wines served with local local gourmet products, salty and sweets. Still have time to do a quick route through Arrábida mountains (4), to admire the landscape, discover the fauna and local flora, enjoy the Arrábida Convent with his little white houses and the vineyards (5) stretching from the slopes to the smooth plains of the region.
1. At Vila Nogueira de Azeitão we visit the estate Casa Museu José Maria da Fonseca, founded in 1834, where lived a visionary entrepreneur who was the first Portuguese producer to sell bottled table wine, the historic Periquita. He also won fame with the magnificent fortified wines Moscatel de Setúbal and Moscatel Roxo. Among the various relics exposed, we can appreciate the first bottling machine and the famous room of "Tomba Viagem", a distinguished and precious Moscatel who traveled by boat to Brazil, to return with an old and slightly salty flavour. The tour continues through the gardens and the old cellars, preserved as they were in the XIXth century, with its hundreds of wooden barrels. Inside, the wines mature, giving off a sweet smell, under a roof full of fungus.The visit to this estate, going on the seventh generation, ends with a wine tasting: a red wine and a Moscatel. At the wine shop you can find the elegant Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal - made of a very rare breed of Muscat (Moscatel Roxo), of which only 20 hectares are cultivated around the world (Portugal and California ).
2. In the same village, we also visit what is considered the most beautiful XVth farm house still existing in Portugal, Quinta and Palace of Bacalhôa, wich once belonged to the Portuguese Royal House. Outside appreciate the garden and inside the architecture, especially the decorations with tiles. The Bacalhôa Estate belongs to the Berardo Foundation, led by a family whose patriarch is José Berardo, wine producer of Setúbal, Alentejo, Extremadura and Bairrada regions. After a proof of table wines and Moscatel de Setúbal, with bread and typical cheese from Azeitão, we go to the wine shop, where you can find all wines produced by Berardo Foundation.
3. On sundays the Bacalhôa Palace closes, so we visit instead the Museum and the Cellar of Bacalhôa. It´s a modern building where the wines matured in oak barrels, alongside numerous works of art from different periods. Here you will have the privilege of seeing three important collections of Berardo Foundation: The Portuguese Azulejos from century XVI to XXI ; the exhibition Out of Africa, of African tribal art, in honor to Nelson Mandela; and the exhibition What a Wonderful World, with furniture and decorative pieces of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The visit ends at the wine shop where we´ll taste two wines with bread, typical cheese of Azeitão or cookies Esses de Azeitão. In the garden we can enjoy several pieces of modern art made by japanese sculptor Niizuma, as well as several olive trees from Alentejo with about two thousand years, which were saved from the Alqueva waters.
4. Before the return we will make a tour to enjoy the magnificent view from the Arrábida National Park, to the sea, the beaches, the rock formations and the typical local vegetation. In natural reserve you can hear the birds singing or until you see the rare Bonelli's eagle, enjoy the orchids and wild daffodils between vegetation typical of Mediterranean maquis. We stopped along the way to admire the white houses of a century Convent. XVI, where Franciscan friars lived in seclusion. When down contemplate the vineyards of the region, some planted in the foothills, protected from excessive heat and Atlantic cold wind, others in plain (clay-sandy soil). In both cases the result are quality wines. The climate is temperate Mediterranean, so the grapes ripen gradually.
5. The Portuguese grape variety most used in the region for table red wines is the Castellão, who loves sandy soils. For whites, are used varietys like Moscatel de Setúbal, Fernão Pires, Arinto, Antão Vaz, Verdelho and Viosinho. The Setúbal red wines tend to taste like wild fruits and spices, while whites are more floral. The taste of a young Setúbal Muscatel is soft and fresh fruity, with notes of orange blossom, while the old one is more mellow, with strong aromas of dried fruit. The rare Moscatel Roxo has a finer flavor and fruit complex. When young it´s great aperitif, when old (over 10 years) to drink with a dessert.
Possibility to have lunch in the region and extra activities such as: Observe dolphins in a boat (only in Spring/ Summer);Canoeing in the natural park (only in Spring / Summer); Visit Palmela castle and an azulejos factory;Trip to Cabo Espichel and Our Lady of the Cape Sanctuary.
Note !!!!! Offer afternoon at the beach for those who do this tour in the morning. Lunch not included.