More than 54,000 Champagne coupes have been used to set a new world record for the ‘largest drinking glass pyramid’.
With D. Maria I (1734/1816), Portuguese wines acquired greater prominence, having started to export wines, namely those from Bairrada, also to North America and, in particular, to Brazil, where they were highly appreciated. . Only demarcated in 1979, since the mid-nineteenth century, it had an unofficial demarcation, still very current, operated by António Augusto de Aguiar, and which attests to its centuries-old tradition as a wine region. However, the history of Bairrada's vineyard and wine goes back even further than D. Maria I, as it was associated with monastic activities, right between the 10th and 12th centuries.
The fame of these wines from Bucelas dates back to Roman times. It seems to be that one of the legions that came to Iberia came from Germania, and their destination was to camp near Lisbon, then Olissipo, to oversee the construction of grain storage silos, the bucellarium. The name of the town is probably born from here, speculating on the possibility that the high quality white grapes that still exist in this region may also have come from Germania, where the famous Riesling is produced. Shakespeare mentions Bucelas wine in one of his plays, where he mentions “a cup of Charneco” which was a wine made in one of the areas of Bucelas called Charneca…
The origin of the famous Colares wines seems to go back to 1255, when D. Afonso III donated Reguengo de Colares, forcing the planting of vines from France. It is a wine with unique characteristics mainly due to the fact that the vineyard is installed on a “sand floor”. Located very close to the sea, the vineyards are subject to strong sea winds and are traditionally protected by reed palisades. The varieties are planted directly in the sand, without using rootstocks. The sandy soils of Colares wines have managed to keep phylloxera away – an epidemic that has devastated Europe and almost the entire Portuguese territory – which is why the Colares vineyards, of the Ramisco variety, not grafted, are among the oldest in Portugal.
Literary references about this wine have been around since the 15th century, which helps to reinforce its aura. Henry IV by William Shakespeare, where Falstaff was accused of trading his soul for a chicken leg and a glass of Madeira wine. Another case takes place in 1478 and is that of the death sentence of George of York, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV of England, who allegedly chose to be drowned in a vat of Malvasia wine…
Muscat de Setúbal
According to the chronicles, as early as 1381 Portugal exported a large quantity of Moscatel de Setúbal to England. In fact, King Ricardo II mentions the importation of wine from Setúbal. In Portugal, D. Manuel already alludes to the vineyards of Setúbal in a charter from 1514. In 1675, there are references to the export of 350 barrels of Moscatel de Setúbal. Louis XIV, the “Sun King” (1638-1715) did not dispense with this fortified wine at the Versailles festivities. A menu of a banquet of the Knights of Malta, held in 1797, mentions, among other famous wines, the precious «Setúbal».
Even today the “discovery” of port wine is controversial. Sometimes it defends itself, as the English do, which dates back to the 17th century, when British merchants added brandy (and brandy) to wine from the Douro region to prevent it from going sour, sometimes it defends that its history is much older and long before the presence of the English, as there are many traces of wineries and wineries, all over the Douro region in the 3rd and 4th centuries. It is even believed that the process that characterizes the production of this wine was already known before the English, since at the time of the Discoveries this storage method was used to preserve the wine for a maximum period of time during travels. The Methwen Treaty signed between Portugal and Great Britain (1703) contributed greatly to Porto's popularity increasing by setting preferential customs rates. By the way, it should be mentioned that, for the English, at this time, talking about wine was practically the same as talking about Port wine.