A place complete and unique wine tourism Portuguese, where the visitor can stroll in the vineyards and know the winery, participate in the harvest when it is your time, make artisancheeses and delicious jams.
Casa da Ínsua, or Solar dos Albuquerques, is one of the most interesting wine tourism in Dão. It was built on Monday half of the 20th century. XVIII, in 1780, by Luís de Albuquerque de Mello Pereira and Cáceres, Nobleman of the Royal House and, later, Governor and Captain-General of the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. In the gardens around you, there are terraces with buxo hedges and camels, fountains and even an outdoor altar.
Three centuries ago, Insua was teeming with activity. It supplied bread to the village, had locksmiths, carpentry and was the only one to have an ice factory in the region, as well as one of the first places in the country to have electricity. First, in 1906, through a steam generator and later through a hydroelectric power plant that, in 1913, began to supply not only the farm but also the neighboring villages. From the agricultural activities stood out the production of fruits, vegetables, wine, olive oil and cheese. Currently, visitors can participate in some of these activities. At dawn, just go to the pastor Joaquim Rebelo and milk the sheep, and then make a curd or artisan cheese Serra da Estrela DoP. Picking fruit and then going to make jams, or going to the vegetable garden to pick vegetables for the lunch salad is also possible. There is also a visit to the vineyards and the winery and, in times of harvests, there is a special program where everyone helps to catch the grape and accompany its route in the cellar. The great promoter of these activities is José Matias, the agricultural engineer and winemaker of the farm.
In Casa da Ínsua wine was already produced since 1852, mainly for consumption of the house and direct sale, however, only in 1890 was built the cellar, where on the lower floor were large kites where the wines aged, and an upper floor where the granite mills for the treading of the grapes. The wine was then driven to inside the kites, by gravity, through granite ducts. Today, despite the the winery retains the unique environment of the past. On the 30 hectares of vines, 5 are of white grapes, with the varieties Arinto, Encruzado and Semillon, the latter of French origin which was planted there by Louis de Albuquerque, just like Cabernet Sauvignon ink. The remaining red varieties are national: Touriga Nacional, Jaen, Alfrocheiro and Tinta Roriz.
The House of Insua still belongs today to descendants Luís de Albuquerque but, in 2004, the Visabeira group leased it for the transform into a charming 5-star hotel with rooms, suites and Apartments. In the house there is also a shop where, in addition to wine, it is possible to purchase other gourmet products Casa da Ínsua, as well as some books or crafts. There is also a small museum nucleus that tells the history of the farm (including a valuable documentary estate relating to Brazil brought by the founder of the house), and a restaurant, where the know genuine flavors produced on the farm and beyond.