Charles Metcalfe Hosts The Surprising Wines of Portugal Tasting at International Wine Tourism Conference 2011

Some 900 Portuguese quintas were notified about the upcoming wine tasting (within the context of the International Wine Tourism Conference)  titled  The Surprising Wines of Portugal to be led by one of the best-known, most spontaneous and amusing wine critics in Britain and co-author of ‘The Wine and Food Lovers Guide to Portugal’, Charles Metcalfe. Plenty of reds were put forward, a few whites, one or two sparkling and some port wines. Madeira failed to show any signs of life. 

The wines and quintas chosen by Charles for the tasting on Monday 31 January 2011 are as follows:

Vértice Super Reserva Brut 2005; PROVAM “Vinha Antiga” Alvarinho 2008; Casa de Mouraz White Dão DOC 2009; Quinta do Pégo Grande Reserva 2007, Douro D.O.C.; Quinta de Ramozeiros Douro Tinto 2007; Quinta das Bandeiras Passagem Douro 2007; Quinta do Crasto Douro Reserva Old Vines 2008; Herdade de Rocim Olho de Mocho Reserva Tinto 2008, Alentejo; Quinta do Carmo Dona Maria Reserva Red 2006, Alentejo; Port Vista Alegre Late Bottled Vintage 2004 – Unfiltered; Ramos Pinto Bom Retiro 20 year old Tawny Port

Is your mouth watering yet? We think you’ll agree it’s going to be a good one!

The 3rd Annual International Wine Tourism Conference & Workshop will take place from January 30 to February 6 on the banks of the Douro River in Pousado do Porto, Palacio do Freixo in Porto, Portugal. Registration is open to any member of the public who wishes to attend the conference. 

2011 is the first year that the conference will be held in Portugal, a country with more than 250 grape varieties and 350,000 hectares of land devoted to vineyards. Porto, Portugal’s second major city, is one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World, famous for its production of Port. 

The conference will bring together wine and travel professionals from around the world to discuss, reflect on, and develop their ideas in addition to attracting wine and travel enthusiasts to discover Portugal as a “grape escape” destination. 

“The conference was inspired by taking wine tourists to visit wineries and observing that wineries in general didn’t have much idea of how to do a winery visit, let alone market themselves for winery visits,” explains Wine Pleasures owner, Anthony Swift. “We figured that what they need is a conference where they can all come together and share experiences and learn from each other.” 

During the “Pre-Conference,” attendees will travel to the Vinho Verde wine region to discover the breathtaking rolling green scenery, visit three family-run wine producers, and finishing up with a  tour the Sandeman property back in Oporto. 

For the next three days, the program involves over 40 talks, presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and symposiums, and will offer a number of opportunities to meet and connect with others in the wine tourism business, including winemakers, travel agents, writers, bloggers, celebrities, and fellow wine lovers from over 30 countries. 

After the conference, the Social Program will include plenty of wines and culinary delights to choose from. In addition to wine-matching dinners organized in restaurants around Porto, there will be plenty of opportunities to network. 

“For professional reasons, it’s important to learn about what other people are doing in wine tourism. For non-professionals – people in wine clubs, wine lovers, wine travelers – it’s a good way to meet the stars of wine tourism while trying hundreds of different wines from around the world,” Swift asserts. 

Conference attendees will stay at the Palacio do Freixo, built in the mid-18th century and designed by architect Nasoni. The palace is one of the most remarkable examples of Portuguese civil architecture from the baroque period. The enchanting Portuguese setting, the excellent cuisine, and the considerable on-site capacity make this the ideal venue for this year’s Wine Tourism Conference. 

The event is limited to only 300 delegates so early registration is recommended. Tickets include entrance to the conference talks, daily lunches, and after-conference activities. €95.00 for a one day ticket or €195.00 for a three day pass.