“ Winery belonging to Cliff Richard. „
I love going to Portugal. In particular I like going to the Algarve. The weather is nice most of the year round and the climate appears fresh and the air clean. I first started going about 15 years ago and have been maybe a dozen times since.
As you can imagine I have been to many of the local tourist jaunts that you visit. One of the places I hadn't actually been to was any of the Vineyards associated with Cliff Richard. I was to make it high on my agenda for my latest visit in 2009.
Cliff spends much of the year living in his Villa which is based in Quinta do Moinho. It is a fairly large Villa and I have stayed close by. If you are nosey like me, you can often see 'famous' guests sitting on his balcony or arriving and leaving his Villa. The curiosity often gets the better of me. But I won't spill the beans as to who was there, when I last visited. It was back in 1997 that Cliff decided to use the land in front of his Villa to grow grapes for Wine. His idea to plant a vineyard at his property Quinta do Moinho was to be the start of his Wine growing exploits and it was to be the genesis of his Vida Nova wines. It is reported that Cliff himself gets involved in the growing of the grapes and production of the Wines, getting his hands (and feet) dirty, so to speak.
In 2001 he went into business with a couple called Nigel and Lesley Birch. They had been residents of the Algarve for 30 years, compared with Cliff's 40 years. They own Quinta do Miradouro which is further up the hill, a bit more inland. It is here that a second Vineyard is situated and also the visitors attraction. The visitors attraction DOES NOT include a visit to Cliff's Villa. In fact they do not go into any detail about his Villa, other than to say it is further down the road. I guess that maybe for his privacy, with nosey people like me around. He is also involved in a third vineyard called Vale do Sobreiro.
Okay so let us get back on track. What can you expect when you visit his vineyard. Well first it is quite difficult to find. If you are a tourist and are holidaying close to the beach you really do need to get a car or Taxi. I usually hire a car when I go to the Algarve anyway, but in this particular instance it went against me. The reason being is that if I got a Taxi, the driver would have known were to go. As for me I knew were his main Villa was, as I'd seen it before, but did not know where the second vineyard was. It took about 45 minutes travelling up and down dirt tracks and small country lanes before I cam across it. Not ideal when you have a car full of people, and others following.
Upon arriving you are greeted with a sign. I wish I could upload the image (and others) but sadly I can't on Dooyoo. The sign says that it is Adego Do Cantor and there is a Vineyard, Winery, and Cellar Door. It also points out that it does Tours, Wine Tasting and Sales.Other information include opening times which are Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.
Visits are available by appointment only, which can be made by phone.
Even at this stage, before you even enter the vineyard, you can see that no expense has been spared. The entrance looked really inviting.There was also a bell that we had to ring before driving up the long drive to the buildings. Upon arriving at the Winery there were more surprises to come, including life size wine glasses amidst palm tress, along with ample car parking space for a couple of dozen cars. You could also look straight down onto the vineyards themselves.
We were soon introduced to our guide who took us 'quickly' to see the vineyards and to give us a talk. I say quickly because I think she must keep herself to a tight schedule. Maybe because it was Mid Summer and there were many tourists around. But I did feel rushed. The tour itself cost 7 Euros 50 Cents, which included the tasting. The guide was not fluent in English but you could understand her. In fact it made the tour more interesting. She explained the types of grapes they grew and how they were harvested. She even pointed out the actual winery were the grapes were crushed, butwe weren't allowed in that building, due to Health and Safety. Instead we were moved on to the Cellars to show us all the barrels of wine. After this we were taken to a wine tasting area, were we could taste and buy wine. It was here were we were introduced to another person, before the guide politely made her 'excuses' and then started taking another group around the site. I think we felt a little annoyed because in all we had 12 in our group and felt that we needed more time. But that was us. It was still a fantastic experience. Probably the reason we would have liked to take longer. 45 minutes just didn't seem enough!!
Afterwards you could take photographs etc with life size model cut outs of Cliff. We never actual saw him on that day, but apparently he is hands on.
Well I for one would highly recommend the Vineyard Visit. I bought a box of wine from them and it was top quality and quite a talking point when we got home.
Information from their website
Cellar Door Shop
Our cellar door shop sells the full range of Vida Nova wines as well as a variety of wine merchandise and souvenirs. We also offer a mail order service that will deliver direct to your door. For information please send a request from the contacts page
Hours of Operation
Open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm (closed for lunch from 1-2pm)
Closed Weekends and Public Holidays
Closed December 24th to January 2nd
There are several tour times throught the day, depending on the time of year and availability. Please contact us at the number or e-mail below to make a reservation as tours are available by appointment only. Should you want to visit our cellar door shop to purchase wine there is no charge.
Tel: 00351 968 776 971
Winery belonging to Cliff Richard.