The Aveleda estate in Penafiel Portugal is a wonder. From the duck palace to the hydrangea gardens to the Romanesque trail (the churches were built before Portugal was even a country) this place is a delight for the senses.
The main house dates back to 1671. It’s still in the family and they use it for weddings and functions.
1. Visit the Quinta da Aveleda
Located in Penafiel, just a short drive from Porto, the Quinta da Aveleda is home to vineyards as far as the eye can see and a technologically advanced winery that produces one of the best-selling Vinhos Verdes (Green Wine) worldwide. However, a visit to this family estate is more than just wine tasting or admiring the gorgeous gardens and vines.
It’s a chance to take in the history of generations of visionary families and contemplate nature sculptured by passion, transforming into a new painting with every passing season. The result is a delightful evasion of the senses.
The estate’s many attractions include a gastronomic restaurant and beautiful cottages including the gatekeeper’s thatched house. Our visit was capped off with lunch on the patio, where refreshing wines from Aveleda complemented a diverse menu of bacalhau, pasta, charcuterie, sandwiches, roasted vegetables, and desserts. It was a perfect end to our visit to this wonderful winery in the heart of Vinho Verde country!
2. Visit the vineyards
Featuring vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see and a technologically advanced winery, Aveleda is one of the best known and loved green wines in Portugal. Visitors can see how wine is made during a cellar tour or sample the produce from the artisanal cheese dairy onsite.
The estate itself is a delight to explore. From the duck palace and towering goat’s haven to the gatekeeper’s cottage and more hydrangea bushes than you could have imagined, every nook and cranny is packed with surprises.
The history of this remarkable place goes back to 1870, with the foundations laid by Manuel Pedro Guedes. Today, the fifth generation of the family still runs the business and is committed to maintaining this legacy. The result is a wonderful evasion of the senses, only half an hour from Porto. This is the true heart of the Vinho Verde region. And it’s all waiting for you to discover.
3. Visit the cellar
A tour into the cellar allows one to learn about the complexities and bottling process of Aveleda wines while enjoying cheese made in their artisanal dairy. The company produces Vinho Verde, as well as varietal and single vineyard wines from other Portuguese regions.
After a morning of touring the property and learning about its history, a delicious lunch was served on the terrace of their new hospitality area. Crisp and refreshing wines from the region paired with bacalhau, salads, cheeses and a variety of other dishes including roasted vegetables, sandwiches, and dessert.
One of the highlights of a visit to Quinta da Aveleda is its gardens, whose countless fountains and romantic style buildings stand out. Throughout the property, you can see many trees that have been in place for generations, including Japanese cedar and swamp cypress. The garden is home to numerous species of camellia and boasts over 100 hydrangea bushes. The property also has a duck palace and the House of Reboleira, whose window is now a National Monument, as well as several other historical buildings.
4. Visit the gardens
Although the property is privately owned and operated by the Guedes family, tours are available to explore the gardens. Rich and exotic flora surround the grounds, stewarded by many Romantic Style buildings like the House of Reboleira, the Tea House and the Nossa Senhora da Vandoma Fountain.
There are also many follies and water features on the estate, including a goat tower inhabited by goats and the pretty gatekeeper’s cottage. Roses, azaleas, and rhododendrans paint streaks of color against the lush green landscape.
After a morning exploring the property, we sat for lunch on the terrace. The refreshing wines of Aveleda paired beautifully with the bacalhau, pasta, charcuterie and other dishes served. To finish the day, we visited the chapel, which is topped with the tomb of Egas Moniz—preceptor (religious teacher/mentor) to Portugal’s first King Afonso Henriques. The tomb is beautifully decorated with simple circular tracery. Several other memorials and statues are scattered around the grounds.