Wine harvesting experience in Portugal

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You have tried and stayed true to the red and white wines of Alentejo, one the major wine producing regions in Portugal. But some of you may still wonder where exactly these strong wines come from. You have seen the pictures of these vast and mostly dry and yellow planes with sunflower and wine plantation hotspots, but you probably saw them only from the window of your car or while crossing this region by airplane. As of September the 1st, Torre do Frade, one of the most acclaimed wine producers in the country, located near Monforte, in northern Alentejo, gives you the possibility to experience manual wine harvesting, to grab a farmer’s scissor and pick the grapes that make such great wines.

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Torre do Frade wine estate has just announced its Wine Harvesting 2013 program which will give you the possibility to start the day at 9.30 picking grapes and visiting the estate and the imposing cellars dating back to the 17th century and where the wines are left to age in order to improve its quality. The visit ends with a superb and rewarding lunch at Torre do Frade Agricultural Museum where you will be given the possibility to taste regional dishes and try the wines produced here.

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Price is €35 per person and in order to participate in these events you are asked to book beforehand by contacting the producer via email (diogoalbino@torredofrade.pt or phone +351 96 381 95 22). For those wishing to stay in the region Torre do Frade will be glad to suggest hotels, alternative programs and visits to other wine producers and cultural and historical sites in the region. But this very same estate is a true historical monument as it was a convent from 1384 to 1834, having been bought by this family’s ancestors in 1839.

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Torre do Frade is a pretty active wine brand, having received numerous prizes and engaged in a number of inventive activities to promote and bring its wine to new consumers. “Auditoria” for, example, was one of these initiatives. With the aim to bring people closer to the wine making process and to inform them on every step Torre do Frade followed somehow the same spirit of its Wine Havesting 2013 program and established an informal partnership with the staff from the food and wine section of El Corte Ingles department store in Lisbon. The aim was to convey all the secrets of wine production and the project culminated with the production of 1000 bottles featuring the names of all the members of staff who worked in the making of this wine which would receive the name “Auditoria”. According to Diogo Albino, Torre do Frade head of Marketing & Trade, “by knowing the whole process and the intrinsic qualities of the wine these members of staff know which wine to recommend for a particular occasion and what the right king of food to go with it.”

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Another project that has drawn much attention is called Virgo and consists in producing wines with a blank label. Hence you can draw on the blank surface and keep the memory of that moment. But there are other possibilities. You can have a bottle of Virgo featuring the design you would like in the logo. All you have to do is sending an email and within 15 days you will receive a bottle with a personalized logo designed by professionals. Price is 15 euros should you want the bottle to be delivered to your home address. For further information on this particular brand visit http://www.virgo.pt, and www.torredofrade.pt for more on this estate and wine producer.

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