Its quintessential estates and visionary founder, make Ramos Pinto an unique wine brand in Portugal!
I must admit this house holds a special place in my heart; Duas Quintas was the flavour that got me stuck on Portuguese wine 5 years ago, and my first ever harvest was at Quinta dos Bons Ares.
Quinta dos Bons Ares in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Upper Douro river, produces Ramos Pinto’s table wines. It is not open for wine tourism, but I did spend two wonderful weeks here, working day and night, proudly wearing the brand’s t-shirt and happy to be part of another remarkable harvest!
Port wines, or the famous “Adriano” (name of the founder and also the name as many countries know Portwine for), are made further south, at Quinta do Bom Retiro, in Cima Corgo, where tourists are gladly and kindly welcomed
When I first stayed at Quinta do Bom Retiro, I was warmly taken in by the family (some kin by blood, some kin by heart) as if I too was a long missed friend. We all sat unceremoniously at the kitchen table, talking until early morning.
Assigned a bedroom, we all went to bed and I fell asleep anxiously awaiting morning!
The day broke grey and dull, but breakfast was served by the porch outside, we all the edible sweet nothings only northern hands can make!
With comforted stomach and soul, we took off to the check the vines that grow the grapes behind the Port wine. These grapevines are set in schist soil, not particularly fertile and hard to work, but keep steady and healthy year round!
By the time the sun was high up and warm in that late Summer afternoon, we sat for lunch with the large Ramos Pinto ‘family’. The topic was, of course, the wine and stories around it.
If you want to discuss Ramos Pinto’s history, visits to the House-museum, in Vila Nova de Gaia, and to the founder’s, Adriano Ramos Pinto, former office oblige. After coming down the river Douro, the Port wine was stored and sold in cellars by the river side.
The museum keeps many of Adriano’s everyday items untouched, such as the first poster ads and merchandise, relics of the early days of Portuguese wine marketing, and purposely commissioned by the visionary entrepreneur.
Of all its estates, I am yet to visit Quinta da Ervamoira, the apple of Ramos Pinto’s eyes, since the studies conducted there greatly improved winemaking in Portugal. One day I’ll do it, and I promise to provide a full account!
I could write much more about this house, which is one of the most symbolic wine brands in Portugal, but I believe you should just get to Douro and find out for yourselves!