Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Minho travels - Day 1

As Leigh would be visiting the Minho region while in Portugal for the first time, I wanted to take her on a trip to one of my favorite places and introduce her to the great Alvarinho wine.   This white variety is grown specifically in Galicia and is a much mellower variety than the tart white wine "vinho verde or green wine" that most people associate Minho with.  Once we pulled into the massive driveway of the 18th century Palaçio da Brejoeira wine estate, visions of grandeur much like Downton Abbey, crossed our minds and we were transported back in time.

                             A panoramic view of the estate

Luckily we were the only two there so we received our very own tour guide, a young lady only 18 years old who was very eager to practice her English with us. While we allowed her to go through her usual tour "schtick", we often interjected with questions about any insider stories she may have heard and even made up our own along the way just to keep things interesting.   Not that the visuals weren't enough!   We were however sad to hear that the current owner, the sole heiress of the estate and 97 years strong and still living there, to our guides' knowledge never documented her life at the palace in any story form.  What incredible tales she must have, to think they may be lost once she passes is incredibly sad.  She never married and has no heir so it isn't even known what will happen to the estate once she does pass away.

We took plenty of photos where we could but were forbidden inside the incredibly decorated interior rooms which entertained kings, queens, dignitaries and dictators throughout the years.  Beautifully furnished rooms were filled with carpets from Persia, silks from France, furniture and porcelains from the Orient.  
Should you ever find yourself close to the town of Monçaõ, I'd highly recommend stopping by. You'd be traveling back in time and wishing you could have lived the lavish life.  But even if you can't,  the least you can do is treat yourself to a bottle of the estate's fantastic Alvarinho wine!

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