The Forgotten Corner

Tras-os-Montes is the forgotten north-eastern corner of Portugal, tucked into the hot and sweaty armpit of Spain. Forgotten by everyone that is except civil engineers who continue to build giant multilane concrete super highways for nobody to travel on. No wonder the Portuguese economy is a busted flush.

20120509 174410 The Forgotten Corner

Francisco Pavao (above) is president of the wine appellation and we lunched today at Maria Rita one of those gastronomic oases in the desert (average rainfall 400mm). Located in the village of Romeu, it is owned by Joao Pedro Meneres, who also owns Quinta do Romeu which falls into the Douro Appellation although it is located in Tras-os-Montes. Joao Pedro may have a classier demarkation, yet his wines are very reasonably priced indeed and of course, he’s allowed to make Port.

20120509 181726 The Forgotten Corner

Joao Pedro has converted all of his vineyards to Organic status and reckons the extra cost adds only another 15% to his expenses. Given that he’s already one of the best deals in the Douro, it’s a conversion well worth making.