Driven by a passion for winemaking and guided by the pleasure of enjoying the taste and aroma of a good wine, wine tourism –routes that lead us to encounters with wines, vineyards and producers – is today a fast expanding segment of the world’s tourist activity. It retains some traces of elitism, as it began by targeting the savvy and the connoisseur; but the new, restless, urban-driven culture has made this great symbol of Portuguese tradition increasingly appealing to a wider audience. Especially because any experience of wine tourism is also a good school for those who want to know and learn more about this world which is very much linked to the soil, to nature and ancestral knowledge; areas so dear to the younger generation who are committed to the preservation, protection and conservation of the planet.
Whichever way you look at it, wine tourism is always a celebration of wine and a feast for the senses. It is also a proud display of what each producer does, the skill of his alchemy and his terroir’s gifts. An elegant way to introduce us to the product of their work and tell us, ‘Look what we’ve done’. It is also a warm invitation to come into their home and share live experience, information, affections and passions, because wine – not just wine, but the passion for wine – has this magical ability to unite and connect people, to bring them together and to make them talk, even when not all its secrets can be revealed. But this happens in any healthy relationship. There is always something we keep to ourselves.
Don’t forget to bring a friend
Julia Kemper’s wine tourism is precisely this invitation to the sharing and communion of her universe, a secular family history linked to wine, the vineyard and the much celebrated and generous Dão region. Open arms that invite wine lovers and would-be wine lovers, with the eagerness to know all and experience everything for the first of many times.
You can opt for a hands-on experience at Adega de Oliveira-Mangualde, in Dão, where you can take part in daily routine that drives this whole wine universe forward. You can, however, choose to start with the refinement of the Julia Kemper Wines embassy, which is located in Lisbon’s Príncipe Real, a neighborhood that is as much aristocratic as shabby chic or even bohemian; and where a wine tasting takes on another dimension. There are programs for all palates that can food, and of course the precious wine of the region and its people. They may even include music if more customization is desired, or if you are planning a special event. Whatever option you choose, bring one or more friends. People you really like, because it will be worth it.
There are matchmaking food and wine harmonisations, which pair certain wines with certain dishes for an even more engaging and unforgettable sensory experience; and there is also time to talk. Above all, there is the desire to share a passion and connect people. No wonder about it is called a wine embassy. Because there are things that belong to it, the wine, its people and its places, and they deserve representation.