His family has owned the estate for five generations and have been pioneers of organic farming in Portugal since 1997, working hard to maintain old traditions and heritage for the new generations to come. The property is located between Ourem and Fátima, and is one of the most northerly wineries in the Lisbon region, covering 50 hectares of which 15.5 are vineyards.
Members were welcomed with a glass of Rosé Espumante made from 100% Baga grapes and then sat down to a tasting of six contrasting wines, paired cleverly with delicious traditional Algarvian dishes prepared by Rolha’s owner, Antonio Texeira and his chef, Marcelo Pegacho. A Fernão Pires to accompany pasteis de bacalhau was followed by a white Talho wine, made as it has been since Roman times in hand-made amphoras, lined with pine resin. It paired beautifully with the flavoursome cavalas alimadas. There then followed a Medieval de Ourem, a wine made by only a handful of winemakers in this small area, just as it was made by the Cistercian Monks in Medieval times.
It is unusually a mixture of 80% white Fernão Pires and 20% red Trincadeira although the wine is classed as a “red”. It is a strong flavoured wine which went very well with slices of xerem com chourico. Three contrasting red wines followed to accompany a steaming dish of arroz do pato followed by local cheeses and homemade Torta de Laranja. These were the entry level Vinha da Malhada, then the Cepa Pura Touriga Nacional 2019 and finally the Cepa Pura Aragonez 2017, which has aged well and proved particularly popular.
The AWS programme continues with a tasting of Argentinian wines at the Tribulum Restaurant in Almancil on February 28th. For more information about the AWS visit algarvewinesociety.com.
A tasting of organic wines from Quinta do Montalto at Rolha Wine Bar in Porches
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