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Placio da Brejoeira
by
Terry Sullivan

Placia da BrejoeiraSummary: The Brejoeira Palace in the Monção municipality offers visitors a tour of the palace, English-style gardens, vineyard and winery. You can also taste their Alvarinho wine.

History

We learned that the Neoclassical-style, granite palace was built at the beginning of the 19th century by Luís Pereira Velho de Moscoso. Construction began between 1805 and 1806 and was completed in the late 1820s to mid 1830s. Luís Pereira Velho de Moscoso died before the palace was completed. His son, Simão Pereira Velho de Moscoso completed the project. When Simão passed away in 1881, the palace was inherited by the Caldas and Palmeirim families of Lisbon. Twenty years later it was sold to Counselor Pedro Maria da Fonseca Araújo who spent time and money restoring the palace.

Placia da BrejoeiraThe palace was sold again in 1937 to Comendador Francisco de Oliveira Paes who gave the palace to his daughter Maria Hermínia Silva d'Oliveira Paes. Maria used the palace as a summer house, but liked it so much that she decided to live in it permanently. Although wine was produced at the palace for family consumption, it was Maria Hermínia Silva d'Oliveira Paes who was instrumental in planting the Alvarinho vineyards and creating the brand Palácia da Brejoeira. In 1964 Maria had the winery built and had the first five hectares of Alvarinho planted. The brand “Palácio da Brejoeira” was started in 1976 in part to provide income for the palace and family.

Placia da BrejoeiraPalace Tour

Because of the size of our group, our tour was split into two groups. Our group began the tour in the family chapel. The chapel was built by the second owner. It was used by the family and servants as well as some people in the village.

Our tour then led us into the main entrance of the palace. Beautiful blue and white tiles are on the walls next to the grand staircase. We visited a number of rooms on the second floor including the botanical gardens, men’s smoking room/library, dining room and bedrooms. A picture of Maria Hermínia Silva d'Oliveira Paes holding a bottle of her wine was in one of the rooms.

The tour continued to some of the outdoor gardens. Past a fountain, one could see a vineyard parcel framed by trees. This part of the tour included the old winery building and another vineyard plot. It ended in the tasting area in another building.

Placia da BrejoeiraVineyards

The vineyard comprises 18 hectares (44 acres) of Alvarinho. At the time of our March visit, the vines had been pruned and showcased their architecture. The soils are a combination of clay and limestone.

Placia da BrejoeiraWinery

The first room of the winery had two granite lagars used to ferment the wines and a wood basket press. Sitting on top of the lagars there were wood tools used to punch down the grape skins to mix with the juice. In another room, barrels and wood vats lined the stone walls. Adjacent to the barrel room was another room with stainless steel tanks.

Wine Tasting

Placia da BrejoeiraPlacio da Brejoeira makes one wine from Alvarinho grapes. The 2017 Alvarinho, Vinho Verde DOC was a yellow color and had 13.5% alcohol. Citrus with some tropical fruits were noticed on the aroma. The taste included grapefruit, pineapple and mineral. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to mineral on the aftertaste.

The tour of the palace and grounds makes one think of the elegant parties that were held on the grounds over the last two centuries. The winery has an old-world charm. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy the winery, vineyards, tasting and the cultural experience of Placio da Brejoeira.

Placio da Brejoeira
Pinheiros, 4950-660 Monção, Portugal

 

Article written April 2018.

 



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