Carcavelos is another traditional wine region at the very tip of the Lisboa region and has become famous for its sweet wine. It is located in the Cascais parish and although being the smallest DOC of Portugal, it is one of the oldest in the World!
The Carcavelos wine has long been famous: The Marquis of Pombal who produced it on his farm in Oeiras appreciated them so much that D. José I offered it as a gift to the court of Beijing in 1752!
In the 14th century, sealed documents with the royal stamp, referred already “those well-kept vineyards of Oeyras". Then, in the 18th century, with Sebastian José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st count of Oeiras and Marquis of Pombal later, Carcavelos wine had a refined production. At the end of this century, “Carcavelos” was a prestigious wine and a very well-known wine for European elites. It was exported, especially through England, for markets such as North America, India and Australia. Law's letter of September 18th 1908 defines the region demarcated of Carcavelos and in 2009 the Confraria do Vinho Carcavelos was created.
The "Carcavelos" is fortified in large part with the famous Eau-de-vie da Lourinhã and integrates with the "Port", "Madeira" and the "Moscatel from Setúbal", the restricted group of 4 liqueur wines/generous Portuguese.
The modern, but historic, Carcavelos Wine 'Villa Oeiras', is the wine of the Pombal Marquis House and has won 6 national and international medals last year: click on the picture to watch a video of the production of this desert wine from Oeiras.
The principal grapes of the Carcavelos region includes Arinto, Boal, Galego Dourado, Negra Mole, Trincadeira and Torneiro. The wine is fortified with a distilled grape spirit to bring the wine up to an alcohol level of 18-20% and the vinho abafado is added back in to add sweetnessto the wine. Carcavelos wines are then aged in oak barrels for three to five years (to give the wines a tawny color and nutty flavor) and at least six months in the bottle.
Visiting this part of the Lisboa region is definitely a marvelous idea, as it includes the picturesque cities of Cascais and Estoril, the beautiful beaches and the Casino Estoril! However, there is a drawback: The urban growth of the cities has reduced the wine production significantly.
Set aside a few hours to discover the magnificent palace of Marquês Pombal. The building was designed by Carlos Mardel (the main architect of the rebuilding of Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755) in the second half of the 18th century to combine both recreation and business. The beauty of the palace and its gardens is coupled with a large area of farming land and a substantial winery. Inside the palace, there are paintings, frescoes, azulejo tiles and statues that impress all those who visit. Come and see them for yourself from tuesday to sunday between 10am and 6pm!
The Wine Cellar has richly ornamented features and was built with the clear purpose of ensuring the production of a quality wine. The Cellar can be visited every tuesday and saturday between 10am and 6pm. Click ont the picture to watch a video of the cellar!
For a traditional experience afterwards, try lunch at the A Pastorinha that has been a comfortable and panoramic reference since 1976. The terrace offers an amazing view over the ocean makes any meal special and together with the decoration and the professional service, it promises to be a perfect day! Inside tip: Try their delicious dishes with a taste of the sea: the highlights are seafood rice and the super fresh fish!
To relax in the heat and cool down, don’t miss out on the Praia de Carcavelos, one of the biggest, most famous and most visited beaches of Lisboa, where you might even be lucky enough to see a beach volleyball or beach soccer competition!
Or go for Praia do Moinho, if you prefer to escape the masses and explore the rocks while looking for starfishes! Either way, Carcavelos is just perfect for surfers (especially in winter), and there are many surf schools to choose from if you want to become one!
Right at the beach you can also find the São Julião da Barra Fort, the largest and most complete military defense complex in the Vauban style remaining in Portugal. Considered in the past as the most important maritime fortification in the country, it had originally, together with the Fort of São Lourenço do Bugio, the role of controlling access to the port of Lisbon. It is currently the official residence of the Portuguese Minister of National Defence and can be visited with prior booking.
If you fell in love with Portugal and want to study here, why not at the most recent campus of Nova University? Apart from being one of the best economics schools in Europe, it has a direct tunnel to the beach, a gym, a restaurant area, a library, an auditorium and facilities for start-up companies!
What are you waiting for to explore magnificent Carcavelos?
Bring your Wine With a View glass and have an amazing time filling it with beautiful views and unforgettable new memories!
Extra tip: Come in September and enjoy being part of some of the super interesting harvest programs! Last year, the Oeiras harvest party celebrated 110 years of the existence of the DOC Carcavelos and presented the medal winners of the oenological contest "La Selezione del Sindicato".
Cheers! And soon with a glass of Carcavelos wine at Wine With a View!
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