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Quinta da Folgorosa
Kathy Sullivan

Quinta da FolgorosaSummary: Quinta da Folgorosa is a centuries old winery located in the region that has been declared as the European Wine Capital of the Year for 2018. Wine enthusiasts are encouraged to visit Quinta da Folgorosa. The winery wants its wines to be known for “freshness, complexity, and easy to drink wines.”

At Quinta da Folgorosa the general manager, José Melícias, is a friendly, enthusiastic man who is quick to cite the many milestones the region has seen over the centuries. He met our large group outside the winery doors. Standing at his side as we were heartedly greeted, was Carlos Manuel Antunes Bernardes, mayor of Torres Vedras. Prior to entering the winery José took us to a landscaped area to discuss the surrounding land.

Visitors to Quinta da Folgorosa will discover a unique wine region. José noted, “This is a peaceful place. You can always hear birds. We are a half hour from the Lisbon airport. A half hour to paradise.”

Since the winery started more than 300 years ago on January 1, 1711, the winery has seen much history. José João Melícias quickly notes that this is where the 1st Duke of Wellington with the English military and the Portuguese military stopped Napoleon. During that time Wellington is acknowledged to have said the white wines in the greater Lisbon region are the best. José quickly continued, “So we beat Napoleon twice, once in battle and in wine.”

Quinta da Folgorosa offers visitors a pleasing combination of a three century old winery building with modern stainless steel tanks. The adjacent vineyards provide wine enthusiasts with a relaxing view of the countryside with its low rolling hills.

Quinta da FolgorosaVineyards

Quinta da Folgorosa has 100 acres of vineyards. In this wine region, the climate affects the grapes by causing the grapes to ripen more slowly. Within the vineyards the different hills with slopes both northern and southern cause differences in the grapes. The southern slope is hotter and drier which is good for the entry level wines. The soil of the southern slopes is also poorer. The northern slope causes more difficulty. Here the soils are rich with clay and limestone. The richness causes the wines to have more intense flavors.

Today Quinta da Folgorosa is producing ten wines using only their own vineyard grapes. They currently are using 15 grape varieties of which a few are the international varieties.


Quinta da FolgorosaInside the winery, the barrels are stacked two high between aged stone walls. Overhead the wood beams and rafters also offer a sense of the age of the building. Another area of the winery shows cement/stone lagars and large old barrels. Past the rows of stainless steel tanks, there are cement vats built into the wall.

José stated, “This is the place the wines are born.” Visitors to the winery will see a cement fermentation tank, two cement tanks and an old wine barrel. When talking about the lagars, José added that this is an example of, “Using 2000 years of winemaking technology for the 21st century.”

Wine Tasting at Quinta da Folgorosa

Quinta da FolgorosaThe wines we tasted were poured into wine glasses set atop old wine barrelheads.

The 2013 Vinho Branco, Vinho Regional Lisboa was a blend of Arinto and Verdelho. The wine was a yellow color. The wine offered an aroma of floral notes. The taste had flower notes including daisies. Citrus and a hint of petrol were noticed. The finish was crisp. Food pairings included seafood, fish, salads and white meat.

The Reserva 2013, Vinho Regional Lisboa was a blend of Arinto and Viosinho and was fermented and aged in French oak barrels.. The wine was a dark yellow color. The aroma and taste included floral (daisies), citrus and a hint of honeysuckle. The finish was crisp leaving one with the feeling of wanting more. Food matches for this wine included: cheese, white meat, fish and seafood.

The Vinho Tinto 2011, Vinho Regional Lisboa was a blend of Aragonez, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. The wine was an opaque dark ruby to black color. The aroma was of black fruit. The taste included blackberries, blueberries, violets and baking spices. This was a full-bodied wine with bold tannins. The finish began with fruit and yielded to spices. Pair this wine with game, meat and codfish.

Currently Quinta da Folgorosa exports wine to Poland. The winery is looking for other export opportunities in Europe and the United States.

Visit this piece of paradise just 30 minutes away from the Lisbon airport. José João Melícias’ enthusiasm is infectious. It is best to contact the winery to schedule a visit.

Quinta da Folgorosa
2565-171 Dois Portos, Portugal
GPS: N 39º 02' 29”; W 09º 09' 14"

Phone: +351 919902914


Article written March 2018.


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