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Text and photos by Susana Ribeiro
Visiting the Quinta da Pacheca in Lamego means you will enjoy at least three types of experience: tourism, wine and food. All three are exceptionally memorable, particularly given the setting of the world’s oldest demarcated winegrowing region: The Upper Douro, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2001.
With its excellent accommodation and restaurant, Quinta da Pacheca is the perfect starting point for an exploration of the Douro region and its wines and food, its history and its people.
The gardens at Quinta da Pacheca (Photo credit: Viaje Comigo)
The main house (The Wine House Hotel Quinta da Pacheca) has 15 bedrooms, all of them different, and a restaurant that complements the surrounding landscape. Each space has been designed to be something much more than just a bedroom or a sitting room. Given all the work that has gone into it, it is no great surprise that the Quinta has won a whole host of awards, including the “Accommodation” category, in 2015, and, in 2016, the “Innovative wine experience” category in Great Wine Capitals – Best of Wine Tourism.
the bed in a room at Quinta da Pacheca (Photo credit: Viaje Comigo)
Although the main house dates back to the 18th Century, everything else is imbued with innovation, with the aim of making it as open to tourism as possible. You can feel the opening of doors immediately, in the welcoming smiles of greeting.
The bedroom, in which the classic sits alongside the modern, sports an enormous - and comfortable - bed, with a headboard that matches the curtains and sofa. The best thing, though, are the huge windows and their views of the flower gardens.
If you have to choose one place to start exploring the Quinta, begin with the vineyards, move on to the winery and the treading of the grapes and then head into the cellar before taking your place at table to partake of the nectar produced by Pacheca.
You can ask the hotel to organise a picnic in the gardens, with their sweeping views of the surrounding greenery. In wandering about the gardens, you will likely stumble across a giant bottle carved out of a tree trunk. Named “The Nectar of Pacheca”, it was sculpted by Óscar Rodrigues in 2014. It pays homage to winemaking, by giving new life to an old oak. Nearby are the inviting green recliners and the Balinese style bed lit by a tall candle. Although you are tempted to linger, there is a food tasting about to start back at the restaurant.
Quinta da Pacheca vineyards (Photo credit: Viaje Comigo)
The Wine House Restaurant offers traditional Portuguese cooking, with a contemporary twist. The room is predominantly green, with a massive wooden dresser displaying a similarly coloured collection of traditional Bordalo Pinheiro tableware. As soon as you step through the door, your eyes are drawn to the panoramic window and the views it offers of the neighbouring mountains. The landscape is definitively exquisite. Breakfast is also served in this room.
The dishes created by the chef, Carlos Pires, make their way to the table. Seasonal products and local ingredients are the rule and each morsel is carefully matched to a Quinta wine. And why not ... round off the meal with a 40-year old port? An excellent choice!
Quinta da Pacheca, Rua do Relógio do Sol, 261, Cambres, Lamego, Portugal
Telephone: +351 254 331 229
GPS - 41.155525, -7.797714
The tasting and the visit are free for hotel guests or for those dining in the restaurant.
Wine tasting only: €9 for two wines and two ports
Restaurant prices: average €25 per head, not including drinks.
Parking and Wifi are free.