Our stay at Casa dos Varais was a highlight of our trip to Portugal. It's an early 18th Century home and vineyard with 3 rooms to rent. We had a beautiful room overlooking the Douro river. The public rooms included an elegant dining room & living room, and spacious terrace. The owners were gracious. We opted for dinner here one night and ate like kings. We started with a tour of the vineyard, then drinks on the terrace with our hosts, moved on to hors d'ouveres in the living room with our hosts and their friend, then had a multi course, delicious dinner with wines in the dining room on our own. The evening was just magical. We stayed two nights and would love to return.
Property: Casa Dos VaraisAddress: Cambres | Cambres, Lamego 5100-026, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Northern Portugal > Viseu District > Lamego
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Ranked #7 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Lamego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Dos Varais 3*
Number of rooms: 4
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The history of OPorto wine – product of the Portuguese Douro – was forgotten for a long period:some people think that this universal richness is a roman heritage (century V), other think that it results from the work of Marquês de Pombal (century XVIII)(!)... and others say that the fi rst exportations started after the Treated of Methuen (1703)... (!)This study establishes the essential historical truth based on decisive documents – properties deeds– found recently.It will be useful to summarize fi rst some facts that fi t the circumstances of the early History of Portugal and Douro Region:The vineyards were ignored during the Muslim period that followed the Roman domain and only Cretans preserved wine, which was fundamental for the Eucharistic celebration.The second marriage of emperor D. Afonso VI of Leão-Castela (with Constança from Borgonha, from the Capeto dynasty and the kings of France) established an alliance in the Iberian Crusade against the Moorish and mobilized many knights from French nobility, among them the earls D. Raimundo and D. Henrique.These two cousins engaged the daughters of the emperor and received the government of Galiza after marriage, which is the northwest part of the future independent kingdom of Portugal.The crusade was based on the natural alliance between the Church, established in Santiago, in Galiza, and mainly the powerful Cluny monastery (from which the contemporary pope came from).After Cister Reorganization, Saint Bernardo was personally interested in the Iberian Crusade and sent his monks to help D. Afonso Henriques, son of his cousin, the earl D. Henrique from Borgonha.The lands offered to the monks were placed at Ribadouro (Lamego- Tarouca), a wide region that belonged to the family of Egas Moniz – master of D. Afonso Henriques – militarily subordinated to the powerful castle of Lamego.At the same time, the monks accepted gifts and were building the monastic facilities (church, cloisters and gardens) and bought the lands that they thought to be better for the vineyards. Wine, as bread, was fundamental for Eucharistic celebration.The agricultural techniques and the casts of the monastic ‘wine for mass’ were those used and experimented by the Order of Cnuny>Cister.The fi rst farm bought was Quinta dos Varais (Cambres-Lamego), at Varosa mouth, in front of “portu de Regua“.The deed of this farm – in 1142, during the reign of D Afonso Henriques – was discovered and published by A. Almeida Fernandes em 1991. This document establishes the most important chronological point of the history of Douro wine, both the VQPRD and the VLQPRD (liqueur wine).The ‘wine for mass’, liqueur (early named as the fl avored wine of Lamego ‘vinho cheirante de Lamego’), become the actual Oporto ‘vinho do Porto’, named after thecity from which it was exported, fi rstly to England, during the kingdoms of D. Dinis and Eduardo III (treats in 1290 and 1193 and 1308).Cister continued to buy other farms or granges (‘quintas‘ or ‘granjas‘) located at the same side (Cambres) or very close, near “portus Bacallusti“.Names and dates of the deeds of the fi rst Cister farms (see the map in the text):Varais (Cambres, 1142), Mosteirô (Cambres, 1149 end 1175), Monsul (Cambres, 1170 and 1187), Formiga (Cambres, 1206), Tourais (Cambres, 1228 and 1230)... and also Valle Longo (Tedo-Tabuaço, 1185).The Quinta dos Frades (Temilobos-Armamar) might have been donated to Salzedas by S. João de Tarouca Monastery, but only the deed of the donation in 1285 was found and not that of the original acquisition.The Degree of alcohol of the liqueur ‘vine for mass’ is high (16º); for this reason the celebrant balance the wine with some drops of water. However the alcohol percentage was increased for exportation purposes. For this reason Oporto is commercialized always having 19º (between 19º and 21º).The excellent fi elds of the triangle defi ned by Varosa and Douro rivers (very similar to those from the monastic Saône-Rhône), defi ning the side of Cambres, fast reached a production of thousands of wine barrels (550 liters) of this unique wine (for this reason also imitated), much appreciated fi rstly in England, then in Europe and later in the entire World.Since Early History, since the fi rst king, D. Afonso Henriques, the liqueur ‘wine for mass’ of the Cister monks – evolved to “vinho do Porto“ Oporto due to the exportation – as a signifi cant contribution to the economy of the country.Douro region is justly considered as World Heritage by UNESCO and the touristic attraction of its vineyards in vertiginous terraces is universal, not only because of its heroic secular farming of the geographic landscape, but also because of the noble antiquity of its history, associated to the French Fleurde-Lis from innumerous kings, since the early age of this venerable country – the fi rst established “urbi et orbi“ in Europe, by the remarkable bull “Manifestis Probatum“ (1179), of pope Alexandre III. ... more less
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