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Text and photos by Sara Riobom
Monverde Wine Experience Hotel has been a long time affair of mine ever since I visited it for the first time, in 2016. Quite unsurprisingly, this stunning and picturesque wine hotel was the regional winner of the “Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices” category of the Best Of Wine Tourism 2018 awards, following on from winning the “Accommodation” category in 2017.
These annual prizes are awarded by the Great Wine Capitals network, made up of members from the best wine regions in the world, such as Bordeaux in France and Porto, in Portugal.
One of the things that always attracted me towards Monverde Wine Experience Hotel is its environmental consciousness. This philosophy is embedded in all its tourism practices and is also reflected in the architecture of its buildings. After all, this hotel has been designed in such a way that it is camouflaged with the colors of its environs, thereby highlighting the property's magnificent vineyards and woods.
the organic garden
There is a genuine concern about energy production and its proper utilization, with the solar panels spread across the property producing enough energy to sustain the buildings during the sunnier months. Moreover, the rainwater (one must not forget that the hotel receives rainfall aplenty, due to its location in the heart of the Vinho Verde Region) are collected and used for the basic sanitation of the hotel facilities.
Another sustainable practice that I found enchanting was the creation of a biological garden, from which aromatic herbs are plucked and used in the hotel kitchen. Later on, the organic waste produced both in the kitchen and in the garden are composted and used as natural fertilizer, thus closing the life cycle of products which could which would otherwise just accumulate as regular waste.
Guests of the Monverde Wine Experience Hotel are invited to participate in this ecological effort. They have recycling bins at their disposal spread across the entire property. Energy saving signage advising about the reasonable use of light, water and even towels are plentiful. Moreover, they can move around in the property using either electric cars (operated by the hotel staff) or, electric bicycles (for those with more active and adventurous inclinations).
A hotel so beautifully framed in the midst of vineyards and with environmental practices and philosophies that align with my values both as a citizen and traveler, I will continue to make excuses to visit this place again and again.