Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pinhão, Portugal, October 14, 2018

It was a cooler day - only 18 degrees, cloudy and windy so I enjoyed my hotel room and read my book until about 3 pm when I drove to nearby Pinhão to see more of the Douro and to visit Quinta do Bimfim.  There's a dam between the two villages-

that keeps the water really high on the Pinhão side.  River boats pass through but I didn't see the lock. 

Once in Pinhão, I thought I was going up to Castal de Loivos for an awesome view but somehow that's not where I ended up.  Oh well, it was still a nice spot-

I had a reservation for a winery tour at 6 pm at Quinta do Bimfim but when I got there at 4, they said I could go right away.  Another woman was also at reception and she asked if she could just have a drink which is what I really wanted to do.  I've been to many wineries and want to go on a port tour in Porto so that's what I opted to do too.  

Quinta de Bimfim belongs to the Symington family who have Scottish, English and Portuguese ancestry.  They've been in the Douro Valley since 1882.  Today, they are the largest vineyard owner in the valley with more than 1000 hectares in 27 different vineyards.  

The traditional terraces, with their dry stone walls and horizontal earth platforms allow for good drainage, thereby limiting erosion.  The vines are planted respecting the existing water routes to help stabilize the slopes-

The schist soils (coarse-grained metamorphic rock consisting of layers of different minerals that can be split into plates) of the Douro are very stony and low in organic matter.  The topsoil is 1.5 meters deep and used to be prepared by hand.  The roots of the vines are at their most dense at 80 cm but a mature vine, one that is 20 years or older, will have roots several meters deep-

Most of the grapes have been picked but some slacker missed these-

More stone walled terraces-

Not sure why this road is walled. I guess they had to get rid of the rocks somehow-

After, I walked downtown to see the train station-

There are a lot of scenes showing the history of the village made from beautiful tiles-

Typical dress long ago-

A Quinta-

Harvest time-

I visited a few shops along the Main Street.  I used to drink Mateus, many years ago.  It's a medium sweet frizzante rosé produced right here.  Who knew?

This may be the trip of bridges.  Other years, I've featured toilets and always food.  This one crosses into Peso de Regua-

and this one is for pedestrians only-

I went to the supermarket to get supper and found this $2.70 wine.  I couldn't resist-

Anyone needing to wash clothes?  These machines are in the parking lot of the supermarket-

I guess in a nice climate, anything is possible.

Tomorrow I'm heading back the way I came to Porto where I'll spend a couple of days, this time in an 8 bed hostel room.  Hope I get a bottom bunk!

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