Lisbon has marvels hidden here and there, and a good example is a wine shop that is only 4 months old but is already booming. It´s not your regular wine shop, more like an experience.
It took 3 partners: Jorge, Manuel and Rui to develop an original idea into an innovative concept
Your usual supermarket wine comes from big winemakers while small wine producers usually sell to cooperatives.
Traditionally you could go and buy your wine directly from small producers or the “Adega”, wine cellar, typically away from cities in wine country.
The idea of bringing an “Adega” to the city, this is the concept they wanted to develop creating the Oficina do Vinho, literally the Wine Workshop.
They wanted to get the wine directly from small producers and to make it accessible to the consumers.
Their aim was to get interesting wines at interesting prices with the option of tasting before buying.
It was difficult for the wine makers to accept at first because of the control of quality, quantity and hygiene.
However they gave in with rigorous guidelines for keeping and selling the wine.
Every bottle has to be strictly cleaned, corked and labelled (alcohol content, tax, specification) on site.
All wines are certified wines from national producers from different regions:
Setubal, Alentejo, Tejo and Transmontano for now, with the idea of bringing in more wines from more regions.
These unique wines are kept in steel tanks of 620 litres. You can take it home in bottles of 1, 2 or 5 litres and bring them back to avoid waste.
And what better way to appreciate the elixir of the gods than to accompany it with other regional products like cheese, olives, olive oil, ham, etc.
Those produces also come directly from the wine estates or regions nearby.
Wine is also an interesting conversation topic and a great party mingler.
It brings together neighbours, loyal clients who come back for more because of the personal attention but also because each product has a story here.
The opportunity to sample what you buy, at a reasonable price, is also a big draw.
It doesn’t require much marketing as word of mouth works best even though they have a Facebook page to reach wine lovers in the city.
They organise events, which are quickly fully booked and very popular.
Last month for example, they had a top chef creating sushi with regional products like canned fish, ham, cheese, etc.
The other evening, there was a wine and cheese tasting event to introduce a producer from the region of Setubal: Malo Tajo.
Setubal is on the other side of the bridge, an easy excursion from Lisbon (30 km), increasingly popular for a break from the city.
Tourism is a very important investment here and Portuguese wine is escalating rapidly in the world market. Put these together and you have the increasingly popular option of wine tourism, where you can spend a few nights in a rural environment, unwinding, drinking and eating like a king. Malo Tajo offers this option.
That evening in Oficina Do Vinho, one of their wine makers Ricardo was presenting their red wine and moscatel, a sweet wine for dessert or aperitif.
Their wine is also exported to UK, Belgium, China and Germany and even won de 2014 GOLD medal Award in Brussels.
To accompany the wine was the delicious cheese of Azeitao from the same region, near the vineyards, a mountainous region intoxicated by the air of the Atlantic.
This very special cheese made from sheep milk has a pungent taste yet a creamy texture. The top is cut off and you can then spread the buttery cheese on your bread.
The taste was delightful and the evening was marvellous but shhhh…don’t tell everyone, it’s our secret!
Price of a 1 litre bottle: 3 to 4 Euros
Oficia Do Vinho: Rua Correia Teles, 22 A, Lisbon, Portugal
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