The great urban growth of Carcavelos, on the Estoril Coast, endangered the wine production of that area. Currently only the cellar of the Marquis palace of Pombal, administered by the Municipality of Oeiras, produces wine from Carcavelos.
It is not today the fame of Carcavelos wine, a generous wine of quality and tradition, produced today in scant quantities. Holder of a glorious past, has been officially recognized and confirmed since 18 September 1908 by Letter of Law, in which the general principles of its production and marketing were defined. However, it was in the reign of D. José I, and under strong influence of the 1st Count of Oeiras and Marquis of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho and Mello, that carcavelos wine produced on his farm in Oeiras met the heyday.
It's not for less. The wine was so appreciated that D. José I sent it as a gift to the Beijing court in 1752. Another curiosity was to have been highly praised by the Duke of Wellington, during his passage through Portugal, when he commanded Portuguese-British military forces against the Napoleonic army in the early 19th century. Later, English troops took with them the wine of Carcavelos, making it known in one of the largest international markets.
The constant vine pests, the lack of state support for the recovery of the vineyard, the dismay of producers and the massive urbanization of the Carcavelos region dictated the almost total extinction of wine production. But in 1997 the Municipality of Oeiras concluded a protocol of cooperation with the National Agronomic Station, in which a number of principles were established, including the preservation of the existing vineyard, about 5.5 hectares planted in 1984, and the consequent recovery of carcavelos wine production. To this end, in 2001, the Municipality of Oeiras installed in the National Agronomic Station a winery equipped with all the necessary wine material that allowed, in that same year, a production of 3,500 liters of wine.
Preserve and invest in traditions
Relaunching carcavelos wine is one of the main objectives of the Adega da Palácio Marquês de Pombal for years to come. A modern image helps sell the already proven quality of this historic wine that the municipality has already transformed into one of the main symbols of Oeiras.
The wine marketed, from the Villa Oeiras brand (formerly called Count of Oeiras), is a generous well marked by the natural characteristics of the region: limestone land of slopes facing south, with mild temperatures and northern winds subtracting the maritime humidity. It is a Quality Liqueur Wine Produced in Demarcated Region (VLQPRD) with Demarcated Designation of Origin (DOC), topaz color, velvety, delicate, with aroma of dried fruits, honey and spices. The varieties that compose it are Arinto, Galego Dourado and Ratinho, caught manually, and fermentation is stopped with wine brandy of Lourinhã at 77%. It then ages in Portuguese and French oak barrels for an average period of 10 years.
The Municipality of Oeiras continues to invest in increasing its production, as well as remodeled its winery, now also prepared to receive visitors.