Portugal is the first country on our nine month European wine tour, searching for unique high-value wines. Finding the wineries we have appointments with has actually been pretty difficult, but we’re starting to get the hang of it. In fact, not one has been as easy as inputting an address into our GPS and arriving without effort.
We’ve visited several wineries every day for the past week and every single one has been something like this:
- For those wineries that have actually given us a real address (a number and street) the street has simply been missing in the GPS.
- Even when we’ve sent a screenshot of the map to confirm where we think the winery is, and even when our contact at the winery says it is the correct location, it ends up being wrong.
- On several visits the wine-maker has given us the exact latitude and longitude coordinates “just to be safe.” Not one of the coordinate pairs has actually gotten us to a winery. We’ve ended up on steep cobble stone streets that a car cannot fit on. We’ve ended up in fields. We’ve ended up in beautiful vineyards – just not the vineyards we were looking for.
- We’ve even had our winery contacts give us nothing more than a town name and a rough idea where they are on a map.
So, how do we then actually find the places we’re looking for?
- We manage a call via Skype on our cell. This normally leads to someone coming to find us and guiding us to the winery.
- We see someone (normally an old person) walking around a tiny village and ask them in broken Spanish, hoping they understand us (they speak Portuguese). Then we smile and nod as we pretend to understand what they say and hope they point in a specific direction.
- We simply drive around and around until we eventually find it.
I’m happy to report, these methods work! Note: The wines in Portugal have been very nice. Most of the wines from the wineries we’ve visited are consumed within Portugal and have minimal distribution to places like Switzerland, Holland or Germany. Portugal has unique grape varietals that we are really enjoying! The wineries we are visiting are making truly “craft wines” (I hesitate to use that term because I would like to think that all wine is a craft wine, but it’s simply not the case). Most produce around 1500-2000 cases with 1 or 2 producing around 10,000 cases. – Alleah
Music Attribution: “Snake Charm” by Moon Veil (http://leecuyler.tumblr.com/)
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