Wine Promotion the Portuguese Way

August 16, 2008

During our recent holiday in Portugal, we visited the Palácio da Bolsa, the splendid Stock Exchange Palace, in the city of Porto (Oporto). It is the most visited attraction in this historic city of Northern Portugal (more than 200.000 visitors per year). It was used as the first stock exchange in Portugal, among others the results of intensive international trade especially in port and other wines.

Today, it is mainly a museum. The stock exchange has long moved to the capital city of Lisbon. The palace used to house the headquarters of the merchants guild. A modern “guild”, however, is still displaying its products there: Vini Portugal, the Portuguese Wine Trade Association, a mulit-stakeholder trade association to promote and support Portuguese wines at home and abroad ( maintains a small showroom in the basement.

Some of the wines on display

Having a wine tasting and display room in the Palácio da Bolsa is a great asset and a clever public relations strategy given that so many people from all over the world visit the historic building. The guided tour includes an invitation to the free wine tasting in the Vini Portugal showroom. Wine enthusiasts such as us, had no choice but to pay it a visit and check out the place.

Margit in the showroom

Two wines were open for tasting both from the Douro wine region, a ‘2006 Costa do Pombal’, a white blend (‘cuveé’ sounds much better than ‘blend’ which has a slightly negative connotation; even better is the word ‘composition’ which somehow stresses the artistic qualities of the wine maker) of Rabigato, Gouveio, Vions(h)inho and Arinto (that is what the lady wrote down for me) and a ‘2003 Borges Reserva’ (14.5 % vol./alc.) blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Franca. I liked both wines, though they remained a mystery to me. I need to taste more Portuguese wines to develop my palate. Portugal has more than 200 autochthone vine varieties, maybe the largest in the world. Many of them have not been explored outside Portugal and they might be a tremendous potential for future development.

Bye bye Europe – welcome home in Jakarta

August 15, 2008

It was the last time that we should return to our home in Jakarta after a summer holiday in Europe. We are moving countries. After ten years in beautiful Indonesia we are packing up all our belongings. A new beginning awaits us in Bangkok/Thailand.

You can imagine that the emotions of our various family members are on a roller coaster, it ranges from one extreme to the other, varies between the sadness of leaving everything behind to the euphoria of a new beginning in another place.

The hectic of the preparations related to administrative and organizational matters pertaining to the move will not allow me to share with you all the exciting things I experienced in German and Portuguese wineries. I will try to slip in here and there some short notes and some of the many pictures we took on the way. More might come somehow someday.

Please bear with me.

The Mosel valley and its vineyards near Schweich with the “wine villages” of Riol (left) and Longuich, photo taken from the freeway opposite Mehring in August 2008

Wine and Food Expo 2008 – UGWA

August 9, 2008

Our Upper Goulburn Winegrowers Association is holding their annual wine and food expo2008. Please come and visit if you are around.


EXPO from 11.00 AM TO 5.00 PM – COST $15 per head includes wine taster
ROVING Food & Wine Experience – Marysville & District – Saturday and Sunday

The Upper Goulburn Winegrowers’ Association invites you to their annual Expo. Come and meet the faces behind the Upper Goulburn Wine Region – talk to the vignerons, taste their wine, sample local food products – trout, cheese, olives, bread, jams and preserves.

Participate in the free tutored wine tasting sessions presented by Rob Hicks, enjoy the “catch a trout cook a trout” cooking demonstration, and take advantage of the Expo Voucher for your roving experience around Marysville. Don’t forget to take home some fantastic Expo specials.

Alexandra Buxton Eildon Glenburn Jamieson Mansfield Merton Tallarook Yea

Susan Kinloch – Event Coordinator – 5777 3447 or 0418 595 878
Sponsorship Information – contact Alex Gillon on 9596-3043 or 0419 363 794

Wine labels from the region

Barwite Buller View Buxton Ridge Delatite Growlers Gully Kinloch
Larnoo Mt Samaria Murrindindi Nillahcootie Penbro Rees Miller
Rocky Passes Scrubby Creek Snobs Creek St Winifred’s Tallarook
Traawool Two Hills

Have good fun with great Australian wines.
Yours from Portugal

Back from the real world

August 6, 2008

Yes, I am sitting in an internet cafe, how it is euphemistically called, in Porto, Portugal. Finally, after about two weeks absentia from blogging, I am back in the virtual world. Hurra!

The first couple of days that I could not access my beloved internet I suffered tremendously. Not checking my blogg every day caused me severe pain. I felt isolated, deprived of the only important good which mattered. The virtual world was spinning and turning, and I was not part of it. How could that be? Impossible.

Well, it could. I drowned my `pain´ first with beautiful Spanish later with Portuguese wines, visited museums, vineyards, restaurants, many churches, a beach and many more places of interest. I had time for the family, and only for the family which is good since I travel so much professionally.

I will have to sort out my material, my notes, the many photos I took and hopefully I can present you with some more stories about wine, vineyards and food.

I spent four days in Madrid, mainly on an educational visit.

After that I moved on to Porto, the “capital city” of Port wine production, to learn about northern Portugal and its wine regions. So much city exitment (more than one week fwe moved rom “monument” to “monument”) made me retreat to the country side near Penafiel, about 38 km east of Porto, where I enjoyed live on a Portuguese farm, a quinta to be precise. The week on the farm was much too short but our holidays are coming to an end soon.

What I can already say is this: you must visit Madrid and Porto (or Spain and Portugal for that matter). Both the Spanish and the Portuguese are fantastic people. I never experienced so much friendliness, so much help and courtesy and hospitality in my whole live.

And, both countries have exceptional good wines of course, and excellent food.