Portuguese songs – Wine is with them

Being a ssong in Portugal is not easy. Being a woman's song, let alone. But the truth is, the Portuguese songs are giving letters. They're professional, intelligent, beautiful. They know how to turn the obstacles around and stand out in their jobs. This article is dedicated to them. With more or less experience, working for others or on their own, they show what they are worth and set an example to those who get excited about following the same profession.

At a time when being a ssong is fashionable, there are more and more young people opting for this profession. In most boys who take the ssong course in hospitality schools, girls are already starting to appear who are also starting to be interested in this area. And, those who are already launched on the market, whether men or women, start to get excited about the movement that is emerging and gaining strength around the songs. But do women have the same competence as men? And, above all, the same opportunities?

Our songs (see boxes) state that women are as competent as men, most of the time, even more. "They have a more refined sensitivity, they make more poetry around wine. In the management, framing and positioning of wine I also have the notion that they are more objective", says Vanessa Gonçalves, independent escanção currently working for a wine marketing and distribution company. "We are more suitable for aromas, we connect more to detail and this is not only seen with the songs but also with winemakers and producers, for example," says Donatília Vivas, manager of enoteca Cartuxa, in Évora. Another advantage is pointed out by Vera Oliveira, responsible scanção at Quinta das Lágrimas, in Coimbra: "I think that the perception with the client is more directed, we go more to meet their tastes".

The sensitivity of the woman to prove is again highlighted by Teresa Matos Barbosa, business manager of wine producer João Barbosa, her father, who agrees that women have the most accurate senses, but feels that men have the advantage of having more time to prove. "Men continue to have more weight in the profession, women are still in the straight. We must not forget that it is still a profession very associated with the restoration, which has difficult times, especially for married women and children." Caroline Zagalo, working with Vera Oliveira at Quinta das Lágrimas, also points out some advantages and disadvantages towards men: "Women have a good image, but in practice we lose because it is still a world of men. There are men who still do not take women seriously, especially younger women, which is unfair because women know and work as much as men." There is clearly a gap in opportunities towards men. This is also the opinion of Teresa Gomes, one of the most experienced Portuguese songs. "Being a ssong is a leadership position, and we rarely see women in this position. By the way, this is transversal in hospitality. The employer should give the same opportunities," he says. And he concludes: "As for the sensitivity of men and women, it is the same. For me, sensitivity develops. Women have, however, the ability to think of a whole, it is more harmonious. Man tries to dissect wine more, while women create greater involvement."

What holds the future

In other countries, the songs already exist in good numbers and it is common to see them in restaurants, wine cellars, distributors and even international competitions to compete with their male colleagues. As happened in other countries, the tendency is for interest in the profession to continue to grow in Portugal, but all in time. According to our professionals, the best way to captivate young people is through training. "A training that also goes through professional courses and curricular internships", advances Donatília Vivas, who still wants to finish the Master of viticulture and oenology in Évora, which has not yet been able to conclude due to professional chores. Your greatest dream is one day to make your own wine on a small hill you have in Reguengos de Monsaraz, your homeland, and continue to share experiences. Teresa Gomes also says that there should be more women teaching: "It is necessary to know how to wake up, captivate and direct young people to the pleasure of eating and drinking. Television shows have played this role, but this has also to go through schools. And we should also have more women teaching," suggests ssong, for whom the future goes through the capacity for renewal, in order to continue to inspire others.  

Caroline Zagalo also suggests the creation of groups of women who can share their taste for wine: "I would like to form a women's training/training group to make women more comfortable, familiarise them with the wine world without crushing them." For her, who does not think much about the future, the idea is to let herself be carried away by the opportunities that arise and eventually one day work with some producer.  What matters, in fact, is that they start showing up more and more. "as with producers and winemakers, for example," says Vera Oliveira, for whom one day working wine brands from some producers might be interesting. In fact, a desire shared by Vanessa Gonçalves, who would like to be linked to a reference mark, as with some songs abroad. "I generally want the profession to be increasingly recognised. I would very much like there to be a strong bet on the figure of the ssong in restaurants, for example." Continuing family heritage in wine production is the objective of Teresa Barbosa, who also shares with colleagues the desire for visibility and recognition. "The Portuguese songs are showing what they're worth. It's great to see the work we're doing and now it's continuing to work to do much more and always better." The path is ahead.

Photograph: Pedro Bettencourt


Vera Oliveira
Quinta das Lágrimas

He took the ssong course at the School of Hospitality and Tourism of Coimbra. And it was the first job you got that ended up staying to this day. She started eight years ago as a waitress at Quinta das Lágrimas - a charming hotel Relais & Chateaux where there is one of the high-cuisine restaurants that is a reference in the center of the country - but quickly its capabilities were noticed and gradually went up in esca I'll even head of the room. In the search for new challenges, he also embraced the project of the restaurants Refeitro and Café Teatro TAGV, in Coimbra, but eventually realized that his place was even in Quinta das Lágrimas. For her, there is no better professional reward than sincere thanks from a client for the wine that is suggested to her. It is a sign that the love that has been transmitted to the profession without having to use words was transmitted with actions.

(Pictured, the first from left)

Caroline Zagalo

Quinta das Lágrimas

When he entered the School of Hospitality and Tourism of Coimbra he was more interested in deepening the bar area but, however, a teacher changed his turns and came to like wine more. Ten years ago, she began interning at Quinta das Lágrimas, but her thirst to continue learning made her leave the restaurant shortly thereafter to gain life experience. After so many other years spent outside, the option was to return to the place where today it feels like fish in the water, and where he reached the position of head of the room. Together with her colleague and friend vera oliveira, always tries to provide an unforgettable gastronomic and wine experience to the client.

(Pictured, the third from left)

Vanessa Gonçalv

es Gentil Vinhos / wine marketing and distribution

He took the hotel course and the ssong between the Estoril and Lisbon Hotel Schools, respectively. In 2002 she began as an intern at Lawrence's Hotel and accumulated experience in other places such as the Solplay Hotel and the now defunct Retiro de Baco wine bar until 2012. He also went through the company Silva Carvalho Restauração, until 2015. With the accumulated experience, and for family reasons, she decided to launch herself, having been a commercial consultant at wine man distributor, in wine consulting firm Wine Service 4 You. And on the Quinta do Sobreiró de Cima. He currently works for Gentil Vinhos, which sells and distributes wines.

(Pictured, the second from left)

Teresa Gomes

Businesswoman - Wine Solutions

It has been linked to the world of wines since 1997. He took the ssong course at the Estoril School of Hospitality and Tourism in 2001, and since 2004 has taken the risk of being an independent professional by creating his own company, Wine Solutions. Over the years, it has also been taking several improvement courses in the wine area and accumulating experience. Today, there are no ones who do not call it to promote wine moments aimed at tourism, companies or individuals, either as a ssong or wine educator. It also prepares wine charts for restaurants and carries out promotion actions. In 2013 he also began doing Sommelier City Tours, walking tours aimed at wine and food lovers, as he believes it is possible to travel through a country meeting people and customs, land and climate, colors and flavors. A world of sensations at a distance from a simple glass.

(Pictured, the first on the right)

Donatília Vivas

Manager of Enotoca of Cartuxa

It is from Alentejo and so since a girl it has become accustomed to the aromas and flavors of the countryside. For this reason, he feels he has the smell and taste scanned. Interest in wine came naturally to him, as his family members produced it. He took the Philosophy course at the University of Évora, and a postgraduate degree in hygiene and safety at work, but eventually gave in to the passion of wine specializing through WSET (has level 3). In 1998 he began working as a guide/receptionist at The Estate of Spore, supporting the area of winetourism. Already in the last five years he has been there he has moved to the restaurant where he was responsible for wines / ssong. With accumulated experience, last year moved to the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation, more specifically to the latest enoteca of the Cartuxa winery where today she is responsible for wines and space manager.  

(Pictured, the second from right)

Teresa Matos Barbos

a Business and Sales Manager of João Teodósio Matos Barbosa & Filhos

The passion for wine emerged naturally, since she is the daughter of a wine producer. However, he began to take the course of Environmental Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra - Escola Superior Agraária, and only then decided to go through the world of wine, helping his father, producer João Barbosa, to promote family wines produced in the regions of tagus and alentejo. More recently, to further deepen his knowledge in this area, he decided to take the ssong course at the Lisbon Hospitality and Tourism school, and today is responsible for the business area of the family business. For her, she has developed her skills in direct contact with the client, coherence, practical sense and a good taste for a job well done are some of the characteristics for the success of the profession.

(Pictured, the fourth from left)