To Porto in order to complete the sale of Quinta do Centro and Sonho Lusitano Vinhos. After nearly 14 years, the last three of which have been an emotional roller coaster, it is with a mixture of both sadness and relief that I am selling the estate to Sogrape, Portugal’s largest wine makers. This is not the time to pick things apart (or cry over spilt milk) but I am both pleased and proud to have played a small part in putting Portalegre and the Serra de São Mamede on the wine map, bringing both the Symingtons and Sogrape to the region. Sogrape have stated that they intend to make the ‘Barca Velha of the Alentejo’ at Quinta do Centro and I am selling to them with the total belief that they will be able to do it. With Sogrape’s weight in the market they will be able to create the added value that will ensure that a small to medium sized property like Quinta do Centro can make its way. Having spent the last twelve years selling Portuguese wine in different markets, I am a firm believer that, for the sector to succeed, there need to be more associations or amalgamations of small and medium sized producers. However in the process I have met some wonderful people, especailly small importers in far flung places who are passionate about Portuguese wines and are doing their best to sell them in challenging markets. I am very grateful to them for all their efforts over recent years.
Selling Quinta do Centro allows me to speak more freely about Portuguese wines, something that I intend to do in a new book, The Wines of Portugal, to be published by Infinite Ideas in 2019: http://www.infideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/CWL_catalogue_Summer_.... So after lots of signing of papers and waiting for a notary who turns up over an hour late, at 19.00 hours on 26th July 2018 the escitura is signed and the property is sold. It will feature prominantly in an semi-autobiographical book that I want to write on the dramatic socio-transformation of Portugal that I intend to write in the next few years. Watch this space.
19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)
17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)
15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)
13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)
10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)
8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)
Below 8 Faulty