The Quinta da Aveleda estate, in the heart of the Vinho Verde Region, winner of the Innovative Experiences in Wine Tourism category in 2022, is a corner enveloped by the magical aura of a century and a half of history.
The high granite walls of the estate, located a few kilometres from the city of Penafiel and about thirty kilometres from Porto, form the boundary to a world where time moves without haste, in contrast to the frenetic movement that stirs the world outside.
There, we breathe tranquillity in a scenario of pure ecstasy, owing to the many tree species of incalculable value, due to their exotic and unique nature. These trees provide a suggestive contrast, in shades of green, with the vines that are cared for in an exemplary way.
The animals; the buildings scattered along the paths lined with flowers; the lake and the bucolic corners on the banks of the leafy avenues make the estate an idyllic setting.
The magnificent gardens, veritable symbols of the estate, are the privileged stage for a variety of activities. These include: guided tours, an activity which has been remarkably successful; wine tasting in a renovated space decorated with sobriety and in good taste; picnics; themed nights or, in summer time, on the threshing floor, with lots of music and delicacies; special events for children, particularly on World Children’s Day.
A vast set of initiatives brimming with dynamism, and which were recently enriched with a game created at a time of confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The idea was centred on an open-air activity that had to be innovative, in the form of an attractive game to be played collectively, and which had to be appealing.
Contact was established with a partner company based in Porto – Escape Challenge – specialised in so-called Escape Rooms. It was the first (and decisive) step towards the creation of a challenging experience based on communication.
Each team playing the game has a minimum of four participants aged at least 12 years. After being given a map with the most important points to discover, they share and analyse the information and have one hour to wander through the gardens and vineyards of the farm.
The objective: find THE LOST BOTTLE, a unique example of the first wine produced by Quinta da Aveleda. It is a real gem, dating from 1870 and which belonged to the family’s private collection. The alarm bell rang, the gates were closed and the police were informed.
It’s a race against the clock in search of the LOST BOTTLE. It doesn’t even allow the players to take a more photographic look at the peacocks that freely wander around, literally strutting their stuff.
The experience was designed according to the history of the Guedes Family, now in its 5th generation, and the history of the company and the wines it produces, exported to over 70 countries.
The LOST BOTTLE, branded as an innovative game, puts to the test the physical dexterity (light clothing and footwear is recommended) and the team members’ capacity to help each other.
Plenty of reasons to place this experience on the ideal plan for ‘team building’ activities.
The success of this game, which obviously has a bottle of wine as the prize, makes it, in fact, an Innovative Experience. So much so that it has also been a success in terms of media exposure.
The originality of the experience and the innovative nature have made it a success that deserves a toast!
Text by António Catarino
Photos by Quinta da Aveleda; António Barros (Garden)