In the heart of the first Pombaline demarcation of the Region, is Quinta da Pacheca, one of the most prestigious and recognized properties in the Douro Valley.
The incredible estate is composed of a long and outstanding history that goes back to the XVI century when it was a group of vineyards belonging to the Convents of Salzedas and S. João de Tarouca, as mentioned in a document from 1551. The Quinta is mentioned for the first time in a document from April 1738, where it is referred to as “Pacheca”, a feminine form of the surname Pacheco, for being its owner a lady, D. Mariana Pacheco Pereira, an imposing woman who took care of the property alone.
Recently the estate has been recognized for its innovation and wine tourism experiences by GWC. According to Sandra Dias, the Deputy General Manager of the estate ‘Receiving a distinction from GWC is always a reason for great pride and satisfaction, but this distinction was special because it was during such a difficult period for all sectors! Receiving this distinction brought us extra motivation, it meant the consolidation of the wine tourism project in the most challenging period of our lives.’
But what awarded the renowned Quinta da Pacheca such distinction? Find all about this estate.
In 1995 the estate officially started in Wine Tourism, opening its doors for guided tours and sale of its wines in the Quinta’s store. The concept developed over the years with other activities of relevant wine tourism interest and culminated with the opening in 2009 of The Wine House Hotel.
The Wine House Hotel keeps the family spirit of the estate alive – due to being set in a typical 18th-century house – which was restored respecting the original architecture, the furniture and the comfort provided by the 15 rooms, all of them different from each other and surrounded by a noble atmosphere, making up the Classic Wing. On one of the highest levels of the property, 10 giant barrels line up, five on each side – the memorable Wine Barrels – each with an original circular glass door, allowing visitors to enjoy, even while lying down, a unique view of the vineyards.
Pacheca is always buzzing with new ideas, constantly projecting new, different and distinctive challenges. As mentioned by Sandra Dias, ‘Winning this prize has effectively reinforced this way of being and triggered new ideas, new projects.’
One of the new projects is the new accommodation unit, different from the existing ones, called the contemporary wing, with 24 modern, elegant rooms, where comfort is the motto for a memorable stay. Regarding the Wine Barrels, there are no plans to expand them soon, since they want to keep them exclusive and make their guests’ experience unique and different. Among all those projects and expansions, Sandra Dias says ‘We have a plan underway that involves the riverfront of the property, we don’t want to lift the veil on that too much yet, but something very good is in the works’.
Quinta da Pacheca has also a lot of incredible activities related to wine tourism experiences, but which ones are the most valued by the visitors? Sandra Dias guarantees ‘All the activities related to wine and gastronomy are by themselves a success and are among the most appreciated by those who visit us.’ One of the highlights of the experience is at The Wine House restaurant, and their famous picnics have become a real “must do” in full connection with nature. Also, the outdoor barbecues are becoming more and more popular. The wine experiences are very didactic and consist of blind tastings, wine courses, Port wine cocktail workshops, barrel tastings, and other more personalized and tailor-made experiences such as bottling and labeling with a personalized label. There is also the opportunity to participate in the harvest itself, a unique experience that will stay in your memory forever, followed by the treading of the grapes.
There are other highlights to consider such as the Atelier d’Or, responsibility of the ‘Transmontano’ artist Óscar Rodrigues. Is a space designed to test the visitor’s artistic vein and mark for posterity their passage through the Douro and Quinta da Pacheca. The activities consist in painting, pottery, tiles, and sculpture. With different and original challenges, visitors are invited, for example, to sculpt on old vine stocks, paint on a canvas whatever their creativity dictates, or model clay paste having as inspiration the clipping of vineyards on the banks of the Douro. In the end, besides the playful moment and the time they spend in communion with nature, they can take the works created with them, eternalizing their passage through the oldest demarcated region in the world. This has marked a new approach to wine tourism and has become a must for art lovers.
Finally, the Vineyard SPA by Pacheca is a refuge of physical and emotional balance. A new valence in wellness, and the new wing of the wine tourism complex. Equipped with two individual treatment rooms and another one for couples, relaxation area, gym, hairdresser, and aesthetics office, the spa will also offer a complete therapeutic circuit with a sensorial shower, cleansing shower, sauna, Turkish bath, and water circuit – waterfall, jet, and bubble bed. There are three therapy rooms, where guests can live unique sensory experiences, in a wellness sanctuary equipped with the most innovative equipment, and let us not forget the experience of feeling the Douro, being inspired by the vineyards that surround it, which becomes possible with the SUMMER SPA, with treatments that can be enjoyed outdoors for a greater connection with nature.
As told by Sandra Dias ‘Quinta da Pacheca is the heartbeat of the Douro in every corner, in every vineyard, in every bottle of wine opened to celebrate life!’
Rua do Relógio do Sol 261 Cambres 5100-424 Lamego
Douro Valley – Portugal
(+351) 254 331 229
Text by Wine Tourism in Portugal
Photo credits: Quinta Pacheca