I recently visited the Vinho Verde region of northern Portugal and got to know the wines and some of the producers of the region. One of the most interesting quintas (or estates) we visited was Quinta de Curvos.
This quinta is located in Minho which is not far from Barcelos, one of the main cities on the pilgrimage to Campostelo de Santiago. The quinta has been around since the 1500′s but was bought by the Fonseca family in 1974. Since then, they have been producing the indigenous grapesalvarinho, loureiro and trajadura. What I enjoyed most about these wines is how well made they are and yet they are relatively inexpensive. They have plenty of depth of flavour and are perfect with seafood, which is plentiful in Portugal.
Over lunch, Miguel Fonseca, one of the sons of the owner of the estate, told us a bit of the history of the estates. He is involved in the running of the estate and spent his childhood running around the forested grounds. I have to say I was even more envious then usual when I visit wine estates because the grounds of the estate had the most remarkable buildings and follies set in a forested parkland. My favourite was the cave set underneath a folly sitting by the pond. It was like having your own private batcave. It must have so much fun to grow up there and Miguel did indeed agree with us! There are also pergolas of vines and vineyards as well that cover one side of the estate.
All in all a very enjoyable way to spend the afternoon at the rather unique Quinta de Curvos, amongst the vines and surrounded by some very whimsical buildings, fountains and grottos. And of course, having Miguel as a wonderful host who was more then happy to share his wines with us. His wines showed us that vinho verde is not just for summer quaffing but also make excellent food wines.