Thursday, October 17, 2019

Quinta de la Rosa

Michael - Thursday

Pat and I are travelling around Spain and Portugal. We started with a hectic drive from Madrid to Portugal, following ridiculously long flights from Brisbane and Johannesburg respectively. The next day we needed something relaxing, and a visit to Quinta de la Rosa on the beautiful Douro River fit the bill. The Quinta is across the river from the charming wine town of  Pinhão, a few hours upstream from Porto.

The Douro from Pinhão
Quinta de la Rosa

View from the terrace of the Quinta
View of the town from the Quinta

A quinta is a country house or mansion in Portugal, and in particular a wine growing estate. Quinta de la Rosa came into the family of the current owners at the start of the twentieth century when the current owner's grandmother received it as a christening present in 1906. Nice to have grandmothers like that.

Contemplating a birthday present perhaps?

The Quinta makes some superb wines as well as noteworthy ports. After a cellar tour, they do an excellent lunch with a view of the river. We were there on the last day of the harvest and saw the large concrete vats filled with grapes waiting to receive a good foot stamping in the evening.

The terraced 'Inferno' vineyard
The best wines comes from the Inferno vineyard. It received that nickname from the grape harvesters who had to pick at the bottom of the hill and then climb the ancient terraces to the top carrying up to 150 pounds of grapes in baskets on their backs.

As for Pinhão, the most fascinating thing for me was the azulejo-tiled story of the Douro at the railway station. Azulejo tile work originated with the Arabic culture of Iberia and was later adopted by the Portuguese.  These beautifully hand-painted tiles are featured all over the country. The station at Porto has large murals of wars and panoramic scenes covering whole walls. As befits its more modest size, the Pinhão station has smaller scenes, but they depict the whole structure and life of the area. Delightful.

Grape pickers heading up to the winery
Barges on the river

Traditional dress
Traditional Portuguese sailing boat on the Douro
Oxen crossing

Railway bridge


Terraces. Some date back to Roman times

The Douro is delightful and relatively unspoiled. It should be on any wine enthusiasts bucket list. Or at the very least on their tasting list. 


Tuesday, October 29: 6:30 pm Murder by the Book, Houston, Texas. Michael joins Yrsa Sigurdardottir for a discussion and signing.

We’ll be at BOUCHERCON in Dallas at the end of the month. It looks like an exciting meeting and we’re looking forward to these panels!

Thursday, October 31:

11:00 – 12:00 PanelThe Novel Stands Alone
  Kendra Elliot, JT Ellison, LS Hawker, Stanley Trollip, Sheri Lewis Wohl
  Participating Moderator: Laura Benedict

Sunday, November 3:

8:30 – 9:30 Panel: Detectives Overseas
  Ian Hamilton, Ragnar Jonasson, Michael Sears, Jeffrey Siger
  Moderator: Nancy Tingley

After Bouchercon we’re on tour. Please join us somewhere if you can!

Tuesday, November 5: 7:00 pm Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, Arizona, with Solari Gentill and Tim Maleeny

Wednesday, November 6: 4:30 pm Totally Criminal Cocktail Hour, Stillwater, Minnesota. Contact Valley Booksellers at (651) 430-3385 for tickets

Saturday, November 9: 10:00 Private book club event

Saturday, November 9: 1:00 pm Barnes and Noble, HarMar, St Paul, Minnesota

Tuesday, November 12: 7:00 pm Mystery to Me, Madison, Wisconsin

Wednesday, November 13: 7:00 pm Centuries and Sleuths, Forest Park, Illinois

Saturday, November 16: 10:00 Nokomis Public Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, November 18: 7:00 pm Barnes and Noble, Galleria, Minneapolis, Minnesota. More details to follow.

1 comment:

  1. I see, I bid one beautiful Tuscany, and you up it to an extraordinary Quinta de la Rosa. :) Magnificent!