Today we were off to Herdade do Esporao a beautiful winery in the Alentejo. It was going to be an amazing day of learning, laughing, eating and drinking.
A little bit of history – The winery was first established back in 1267. We were told that no wine was produced until the 1990’s. They export 60% of wines produced. 80% by hand to harvest the grapes from August to October. Their olive oil is 100% hand harvested. They do export around the world and even for us Aussies however not yet in large quantities.
As we approached the winery you could see off to the right a Medieval Tower, this is where the historic centre of the winery is. We didn’t have time to visit however I would encourage you to put it on your list if you do visit the winery. This tower was used for as a model for other towers. I was on the left side of the bus so as we were leaving I managed to get this photo. I know its not that good but at least you can see it.
We were first taken to where the grapes are processed once picked. All different sorts of barrels depending on what type of wine it is. On the first day of Fermentation foot stomping is done. How much fun that would be! The stomping is done in the marble vats.
Our guide was amazing and went through all the process of grapes to wine. So much work and time before you get that bottle of wine on your table.
In the marble tanks 5 wines are made. 1 top quality red wine and 4 single varieties. Any leftovers then go into the presses.
Bottled wine will age for another 2-3 years and the wine can keep for 15-20 years.
Then there are the Tulip Barrels – concrete tanks. These produce organic wine – Colheiea and also a single variety.
We then went down into the storage area. 30 meters underground. Row upon row of barrels of wines. They have the date stamped when the wine was placed in the barrels and what type of wine.
We were taken into an area where we learnt to smell the aroma of the wines.
Our next stop was a class in making wine. We all went into groups and then the fun started. A bit of this and a bit of that. We were given percentages of what goes into what. Free for all! It was so much fun I highly recommend doing this when you visit the winery.
Of course we had to taste the wine along the way of making it.
After all that wine we were then ushered into a private room where we would be having lunch.
Being gluten free, fish free and peanut free can cause issues when dining out. At Esporao Restaurant this was a feast for the eyes and the stomach. We all had amazing food and wine.
Here is the link for the winery if you wish to know more Esporao Winery
What an amazing day we had. Most wineries you go in sample some wine, maybe buy some then leave. Today we learnt the history of the winery and how wines are made. We had hands on with the wine and not just drinking it! Im sure if you visit when the stomping of the grapes is done you could get your feet dirty!
Some of us were dropped off so we could visit Cappella Dos Ossos – Chapel of the Bones. You can read about it here Chapel of the Bones
Of course more photos will be on Instagram at 3sistersabroad